23 Jul 2024


Intel, Moxa and port join forces on wireless TSN over Ethernet

Moxa, Intel and port are collaborating to advance deterministic network communications over standard Ethernet

Three companies – the industrial communications specialist Moxa, the chip-maker Intel, and the German software stack developer, port industrial automation – have collaborated to develop and demonstrate a “game-changing” platform that they say is the first application-to-application use of time-sensitive networking (TSN). The platform combines Gigabit bandwidths, high performance, reliability and security, with the potential for wireless communications.

The partners say their joint demonstration shows the maturity of TSN and its potential to expand from wired to wireless networks. Wireless TSN, they add, will “liberate standards-based, scalable, and highly flexible applications that are realising Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)”.

The platform offers a unified, high-performance network infrastructure that allows different types of traffic to coexist. The development integrates products that have been certified to conform to CC-Link IE TSN, with Moxa TSN-enabled switches, and Intel’s 11th generation i7 processors and I120 TSN-enabled platforms. The application software is being developed by port, which has one of the first CC-Link IE TSN Class B-certified master stacks and supports Profinet-over-TSN through the first Profinet CC-D remote station.

The platform will be able to integrate devices and protocols such as CC-Link IE TSN, Profinet-over-TSN (Profinet CC-D), EtherCat-over-TSN, and the upcoming OPC UA FX. There is also a neutral middleware developed to support a variety of industrial protocols operating over TSN to deliver synchronous communications between sensors, PLCs and actuators.

According to port’s chief technology officer, Marcus Tangermann: “With TSN, there is finally an Ethernet-based technology available that can connect all kinds of devices on the factory floor using standardised Ethernet TSN infrastructure devices, overcoming proprietary systems. TSN infrastructure components have better knowledge about all datastreams within the network, which allows sophisticated planning of network traffic.”

“Moxa’s solution using TSN and real-time features on Intel architecture processors will enable the level of determinism required by intelligent industrial edge systems where data is extracted, analysed, and actions applied, in real time,” adds Sunita Shenoy, Intel’s senior director of industrial IoT platforms. “Using standard Ethernet-based solutions accelerates digital transformation to smart factories, thus lowering total costs of ownership.”

“Working closely with Intel and port, we’ve achieved another milestone for advancing the development of TSN to the next stage as burgeoning consensus shows that TSN and wireless capabilities should combine to digest and react to data from multiple systems in real-time,” says Zico Lee, deputy general manager of Moxa Networking.

TSN improves determinism and reliability in industrial Ethernet-based communications used for vertical applications. It can achieve accurate time synchronisation across networks as well as traffic prioritisation, allowing users to combine many types of traffic on one network with no loss of performance. It also supports time-critical, control-related tasks and improves the transparency of how information is processed to support quality and output.

With the arrival of 5G and Wi-Fi 6/7 connections, it is now possible to expand deterministic communications over wireless networks.

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