Time Sensitive Networking (TSn) Testbed

Fast Facts

MEMBER Participants:

Belden/Hirschmann, Bosch Rexroth, B&R Industrial Automation, Cisco, Innovasic, Intel, KUKA, National Instruments, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Schneider Electric, SICK AG, TTTech, Xilinx




Manufacturing. However, the Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed is envisioned to be useful in a wide range of applications, including Utilities, Transportation, Oil and Gas. The insights and concepts proven in this testbed may be replicated into a number of other testbeds in the future.


Manufacturing operations requires tight coordination of sensing and actuation to safely and efficiently perform closed loop control. Typically these systems have been deployed using non-standard network infrastructure or air-gapped (unconnected) standard networks. This approach leaves devices and data much harder to access and creates a technical barrier to IIoT which is predicated on the ability to consume data anywhere throughout the infrastructure.


To address these needs of IIoT all the way to the control system, the IEEE organization has been working to update the standards for Ethernet and wireless (IEEE 802) to support time sensitive networking. The technology will be used to support real-time control and synchronization of high performance machines over a single, standard Ethernet network, supporting multi-vendor interoperability and integration.


TSN will open up critical control applications such as robot control, drive control and vision systems to the Industrial Internet. This connectivity then enables customers, suppliers and vendors to more readily access data from these systems and to apply preventative maintenance and optimization routines to these systems.

The Testbed

Support of fast control applications means the network needs to support communications with low latency and low jitter and to provide mechanisms for distributed coordination or time synchronization. Typically these requirements have resulted in non-standard network infrastructure or unconnected standard networks where devices and data are not accessible throughout the infrastructure.

The goal of this testbed is to display the value of new Ethernet standards referred to as Time-Sensitive Networks in a Manufacturing ecosystem of applications. TSN enables a standard, single, open network infrastructure supporting multi-vendor interoperability and integration. The technology will be used to support real-time control and synchronization of high performance machines over a single, standard Ethernet network.

This testbed proposes to be an early implementation of TSN. As such, it will show the value of the technology as well as some of the challenges in implementations from a number vendors. This testbed will not only document some of the value, but will provide feedback to the relevant standards organizations on areas of further clarification or improvement.

The testbed will display the following:

  • Combine different critical and best-effort traffic flows on a single network based on IEEE 802.1 Time Sensitive Networking
  • Demonstrate the real-time capability and vendor interoperability using standard, converged Ethernet
  • Evaluate security value of TSN and provide feedback on the secure-ability of initial TSN functions
  • Show ability for IIoT to incorporate high performance and latency sensitive applications
  • Provide integration points for smart edge-cloud control systems into IIoT infrastructure & application

Interested in learning more about the TSN Testbed? Email us!