Siemens TSN

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Straight talk: TSN – turbo power for PROFINET and OPC UA

Time-Sensitive Networking – Straight talk: Our commitment to digitalization

Digitalization sets a high standard for industrial communication. Siemens is already relying on the rapidly growing open-communication standard Industrial Ethernet – with PROFINET at the field level and OPC UA at the control level. But Siemens is taking it one step further: with the Ethernet-based standard TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking) for reserved bandwidths, Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms, low transmission latency, and parallel transmission of multiple protocols – including real-time-capable ones – in industrial networks.

TSN FAQ 6 I Guenter Steindl, Principal Engineer for Industrial Communication for the Digital Factory, Factory Automation De Business Unit, Siemens

What is the new TSN standard IEC/IEEE 60802?

The upcoming IEC/IEEE 60802 standard is a project of IEC SC65C/MT9 and IEEE 802, so experts from standard Ethernet and the application protocols above work closely together. This standard will define a TSN profile for industrial automation in which certain functions, configuration models with the associated protocols and options can be selected from a wide range of options. This is the only way to achieve a convergent network, i.e. different protocols use the same network.

In future, all components for setting up a TSN network must be standardized according to IEC/IEEE 60802 (TSN-IA). The specification is based on corresponding use cases, a first official version is expected in 2022.


(More FAQs about TSN will follow. The already published FAQs can be found in the "What is TSN" section further down the page.)

What is TSN?

Straight talk on the path to the future: PROFINET and OPC UA with TSN.

Increasing digitalization of production processes requires more and more openness, robustness, determinism, and flexibility in industrial communication. Only production that communicates and responds extremely agilely can ensure the fast and reliable manufacturing of individual products while also meeting tight delivery schedules.

Straight talk for a giant step toward digitalization

While industrial control systems are dependent on real-time communication, IT systems rely primarily on open access to data. That’s why companies operate these networks separately. In the face of increasing digitalization, this separation must now be replaced by open, end-to-end networking that permits flexible, deterministic production. TSN (Time-Sensitive Networking) creates a standardized basic technology within the framework of IEEE 802.1 for guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) and increased demands in the Ethernet. TSN comprises a series of individual standards that exclusively pertains to the OSI layer 2 of communication. This means that the user interface remains unchanged even with TSN.

From the automotive industry and machine-building to the food and beverage industry: TSN offers decisive advantages for industrial production, including reserved bandwidths, Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms, low transmission latency, and parallel transmission of multiple protocols – including real-time ones. Siemens will be relying on TSN to help shape the digital transformation of industrial networks – from the field level and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication to the control and operator levels.

Driving development together

TSN has already gotten off to a promising start. As part of its ongoing development, it’s being tested at Labs Network Industrie 4.0 (LNI4.0). LNI4.0 is connecting testing environments and installations throughout Germany to further the advance of Industrie 4.0, and Siemens is one of the founding members. Along with a number of other industrial enterprises, the company is doing everything it can to test TSN interoperability with multiple vendors, and is conducting research in the test bed to assess the potential of TSN for M2M communication and machine networking all the way to the cloud. The knowledge obtained will be made available to standardization committees as needed for use in future development.

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