How IIoT Engage With Time Sensitive Network Protocol

One of the newest and most talked about applications for IIoT is Time Sensitive Networking or TSN. TSN is a set of standards that allows for deterministic Ethernet.

This means that packets are guaranteed to arrive at their destination within a specific, known time frame. While this is great for many applications, it does present some challenges when connecting to an IIoT device.

In this blog post, we will explore how to engage with TSN and some of the challenges you may face along the way.

IIoT and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN)

The IIoT is connecting more and more devices with time-sensitive networking (TSN) requirements. TSN is a technology that allows different types of traffic, including time-critical industrial control and safety applications, to share the same network infrastructure while still maintaining deterministic performance.

This means that devices can communicate with each other with very low latency and jitter, even when the network is congested.

One of the benefits of using TSN in an IIoT application is that it can help to reduce costs by simplifying the network infrastructure. TSN can also improve system reliability and security by providing deterministic performance and end-to-end isolation between different types of traffic.

To learn more about how IIoT applications can benefit from TSN technology, please contact your regional sales representative.

How TSN Works

TSN is a family of protocols that uses time-synchronized networking to deliver accurate, deterministic Ethernet services. TSN allows for low-latency, highly reliable communications with strict timing requirements.

TSN consists of three main components:

  1. IEEE 802.1AS: This standard defines how devices on a network can synchronize their clocks to a common time source. This is the foundation of TSN and is what allows devices to send and receive information at precisely the same time.
  2. IEEE 802.1Qbv: This standard defines how time-sensitive traffic can be scheduled and routed on a network. This ensures that time-critical traffic always has the lowest latency and highest reliability.
  3. IEEE 802.1Qci: This standard defines how TSN networks can be integrated with existing Ethernet networks. This allows TSN to work seamlessly with existing infrastructure and makes it easy to add TSN capabilities to existing devices and systems

The Benefits of TSN for IIoT

The Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) is a set of standards developed by the IEEE to enable low-latency, deterministic networking for industrial and other time-sensitive applications. TSN provides end-to-end QoS across Ethernet networks and supports synchronization and time-triggered applications.

TSN offers many benefits for Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications, including:

  • Low latency: TSN reduces latency by up to 90% compared to traditional Ethernet, making it ideal for time-sensitive applications such as machine control and robotics.
  • Deterministic: TSN guarantees that packets will be delivered within a specified time period, providing predictability and jitter-free performance for mission-critical applications.
  • Scalable: TSN scales from small personal area networks up to large backbone networks, making it suitable for a wide range of IIoT deployments.
  • Open standard: TSN is an open standard maintained by the IEEE, ensuring interoperability between devices from different vendors

How to Implement TSN in IIoT

TSN is an IEEE 802.1 standard for time-sensitive networking. It defines a set of mechanisms that allow network nodes to synchronize their clocks, schedule traffic, and exchange information about the state of the network.

TSN is designed to support a wide range of applications including industrial control, automotive networks, avionics, and audio/video streaming.

The first step in implementing TSN is to select a synchronization method. The most common methods are precise time protocol (PTP) and gigabit Ethernet (GbE).

PTP uses hardware timestamping to provide very accurate clock synchronization while GbE uses software timestamping which is less accurate but more affordable.

Once the synchronization method has been selected, the next step is to configure the network switches. TSN requires that all switches in the network support two key features: time-aware shapers and ingress policing.

Time-aware shapers shape traffic based on when it needs to be delivered, rather than just its size or type. This ensures that time-sensitive traffic is not delayed by other traffic on the network. Ingress policing drops packets that arrive too late, ensuring that they do not delay other packets.

Finally, devices on the network need to be configured to use TSN. This includes setting up device profiles specifying what kind of traffic they generate and how it should be scheduled. Devices also need to be able to exchange information about their current state so that they can coordinate their activities


As we continue to see the rise of the Internet of Things, it’s important to understand how different protocols can be used to engage with time-sensitive networks.

For example, IIoT devices often need to communicate with each other in real time, which is why protocols like TSN are so important.

By understanding how TSN works, we can ensure that our IIoT devices are able to effectively communicate and collaborate with each other.


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