What is Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)?

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December 16, 2021

What is Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)?

Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of Ethernet networking capabilities that transmit time-sensitive data across standard Ethernet networks. Originally, TSN grew out of the IEEE 802.1 standard working groups on Audio Video Bridging (AVB) to ensure that independent networks streams for audio and video data arrive at the correct times to ensure synchronization. AVB also requires guaranteed delivery throughput and latency to avoid problems like missing video frames.

Today, TSN features new 802.1 standards that go beyond AVB time-synchronized streaming. These enhancements can support low-latency, precision data delivery over Ethernet for a broader set of industrial, automotive, aerospace, and other real-time communications applications.

As an open standard technology supported by most major semiconductor suppliers, like Intel, TSN is designed to co-exist with today’s low-cost Ethernet technologies. It works dynamically, allowing time-sensitive communications channels to be configured and set up flexibly as needed in real time.

TSN technology offers several important capabilities to embedded defense systems. 

It makes use of IEEE-1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) to provide clock synchronization between nodes. Once clocks are synchronized, TSN can be used to set up a deterministic communications channel between nodes. This setup can be defined with guaranteed parameters, such as throughput, latency, and jitter.

Curtiss-Wright Deterministic Ethernet Solutions

Many Curtiss-Wright single board computer modules and mission computer systems can already take advantage, to varying degrees, of TSN communications, requiring only software support. Most of our processors support the time synchronization capabilities of IEEE-1588v2 and can support PTP software daemons. Several next-gen mission computers and Ethernet switches from Curtiss-Wright are roadmapped to fully support TSN connectivity as endpoints and network bridges, respectively.

DuraCOR 313 Mission Computer with TSN

Parvus DuraCOR 313

The DuraCOR 313 is a SWaP-optimized, ultra-small form factor mission computer that’s an ideal fit for applications requiring deterministic networking. In addition to its two Gigabit Ethernet ports with TSN support, this modular system features a four-core CPU, an integrated 18-core Intel GPU, expansive memory, and enhanced security features.

Learn more about the DuraCOR 313.