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Simplifying Industry’s Adoption of Time-Sensitive Networking

Profibus & Profinet International works to make technologies like Time-Sensitive Networking easy for end users, but we also help automation companies build TSN-capable products and ease industry-wide adoption.

Bowne

To help automation device vendors adopt Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), Profibus& Profinet International (PI) has released the Profinet Community [software] Stack. This portable software stack provides core functions required by Profinet-enabled devices. These core functions can then be adapted to the specific hardware upon which the stack is being implemented, and to the application software that will utilize it. From the outset, the Profinet Community Stack has been developed and released with TSN integration in mind.

Available to PI members, the stack can be downloaded for free from the PI website (www.profibus.com). It is intended primarily for Profinet solution providers or technology partners, and secondarily for the device vendors. It gives our technology partners a foundation upon which to build their software stacks that make it easy for device vendors to add Profinet to their products. They are the experts in helping add Profinet to a device and can be consulted at any point during the integration process.

Easy Profinet + TSN testing
Every Profinet-enabled device is required to pass conformance testing and certification before it can be released on the market. The same test tool used by PI test labs to put devices through their paces is available for download and use by device vendors. It is an automated tester that steps through test cases and gives clear results with each test case performed. Because TSN requires clock synchronization, hardware support is needed in the devices via TSN-capable Ethernet chips. This means the hardware employed by the test tool must also have such hardware support.

To ease the TSN integration process, the latest version of the Profinet test tool has been developed to use a widely available, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) development kit for the TSN functionality. The test tool runs on any laptop and initiates the test cases via the connected TSN dev kit. This ensures that device vendors can easily run through test cases themselves via this COTS hardware.

Functionality focus
Automation component makers should focus their efforts on building out the features and functionality of their devices. Meanwhile, integration of a communication interface should be as painless as possible. With the Profinet Community Stack and COTS hardware for automated TSN testing, PI is helping device vendors do just that. We want to enable adoption of TSN by end users by easing its integration for device vendors.

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