NI has 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 is set 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.

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 new 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.

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