Performance analysis of a non-synchronized heterogeneous TSN network

University essay from Mälardalens universitet/Akademin för innovation, design och teknik

Author: David Nguyen; Zack Nasiri; [2022]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: It is becoming increasingly important to provide mechanisms and features to support the strict real-time requirements in today's industrial networks. This has caused industries to look for solutions to have reliable time-sensitive network communication. An attractive option to solve this is by using Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), which was developed by IEEE 802.1 TSN Task group. TSN is a suite of standards that provides deterministic services over standard Ethernet, for example, guaranteeing packet transport with bounded latency, low jitter, and low packet losses. To achieve deterministic behavior in TSN, both time-synchronization and scheduling mechanisms are required. However, implementing all TSN standards would imply a significant investment of time and resources. To alleviate this issue, this thesis investigates the effects of not time-synchronizing in a heterogeneous TSN network. A heterogeneous TSN network combines legacy systems/non-TSN systems with TSN devices, such as TSN switches. This thesis is built on using a TSN switch from System-on-Chip engineering (SoC-e). We configure the TSN switch making it capable of detecting different traffic classes and analyze the performance of applying it and not applying it, in the non-synchronized heterogeneous TSN network. In the thesis, the performance analysis is based on two attributes: the reception time drift and the jitter. Our result was that the performance was highly dependable on the clocks in the network since the network was not synchronized. The behavior of the reception time drift was due to the lack of time-synchronization and the jitter’s behavior was due to the clock accuracy of the devices. In our case, the TSN switch had better clock accuracy than the other devices. In addition, with the more accurate clock in the TSN switch and the implemented scheduling mechanisms, the jitter was decreased. The switch also had a faster clock than the other devices and in this particular case, it reduced the reception time drift. The results gained in this thesis justify the usability of using a TSN switch in a non-synchronized heterogeneous TSN network and could provide insights for future research and development of TSN. 

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