- August 03, 2016
- National Instruments Corporation
August 3, 2016 – National Instruments announced an early access technology platform for Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) as part of its continued commitment to support the development of new standard technologies for synchronization and communications. In coordination with Cisco and Intel, NI hopes to empower customers to build distributed systems that perform synchronized I/O, code execution and deterministic communication for distributed control and measurement loops, all using standard Ethernet. Engineers are using this platform to help vet the technology in ecosystem activities including the Industrial Internet Consortium TSN Testbed for smart manufacturing. In addition, lead customers are leveraging this technology: the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering of RWTH Aachen University for advancements in next-generation computer numeric control machining, EUV Tech for novel semiconductor processing machines and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for future electrical grid research. NI’s participation in standards bodies such as the AVnu Alliance, IEEE 802.1, IEEE 1588, Internet Engineering Task Force and OPC Foundation helps impart lessons learned through real-world usage with the goal of creating a common approach for deterministic communication and synchronized timing over standard converged Ethernet.
“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working to address challenges to the stability and control of the world’s power grids caused by the accelerating deployment of distributed renewable energy sources,” said Mark Buckner, power and energy systems group leader at ORNL. “In partnership with NI and Cisco, we are demonstrating how Time Sensitive Networking can enable an unprecedented level of microgrid coordination and control, significantly increasing the resiliency of power delivery systems.”
TSN delivers mechanisms to create distributed, synchronized, hard real-time systems over standard Ethernet. These systems use the same infrastructure to provide real-time control and communicate all standard IT data, powering convergence of control, measurement, configuration, UI and file exchange infrastructure. This is expected to fundamentally change system design and maintenance by offering network convergence, secure control traffic and high performance.
The early access technology platform includes CompactRIO controllers featuring Intel Atom processors and the Intel i210 TSN-enabled NIC for a faster, lower energy and more cost-effective solution. These controllers use LabVIEW system design software to maintain synchronized time to the network and expose that time to code running on the real-time processor, as well as the code running on the FPGA. LabVIEW is already designed with time as a core concept, which makes it simple for users to tightly coordinate signal processing, control algorithms and I/O timing with scheduled network transmission and between multiple systems distributed across a network. Customers that want to access the technology platform can join the NI Community “Time Sensitive Networks.” There they can gather more information on hardware and software capabilities, view example code and documentation, and obtain details on acquiring appropriate products from NI and partners to create deployable TSN systems.
Since 1976, NI has worked to make it possible for engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges with powerful, platform-based systems that accelerate productivity and drive rapid innovation. Customers from a wide variety of industries – from healthcare to automotive and from consumer electronics to particle physics – use NI’s integrated hardware and software platform to improve the world we live in.