A software update for the modularly-managed Hirschmann switch types RSPE35 and RSPE37 is to be released by Belden. The update, which will be available in the second half of this year, will enable Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) features. As a visible sign, the devices will have a 'TSN ready' logo on the front panel. In addition, older switches of both RSPE types can also be upgraded for the new real time technology.
The 'TSN ready' logo is not exclusive to the RSPE35 and RSPE37: other Hirschmann industrial Ethernet switches with fitting capabilities will display the logo as well in the near future.
“For the first time, TSN allows a simultaneous transfer of time-critical and non-time-critical data with a guaranteed end-to-end latency via Ethernet in accordance with IEEE 802.1 and 802.3,” said Dr. Oliver Kleineberg, Advanced Development Manager at Belden. He added: “Because of the comprehensive functions and high bandwidths, the technology is suitable for nearly all automation applications. Moreover, since TSN is not a proprietary system like many other established real time solutions, it can be used with devices from different manufacturers, which paves the way for the Industry 4.0 in modern heterogeneous industrial networks.”
The managed switches of the RSPE product family consist of a basic unit with eight twisted pair and four combo ports, which can be expanded through the various media modules. The RSPE35 and RSPE37 versions support the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) in accordance with IEEE 1588-2008 and feature a FPGA module (Field Programmable Gate Array), which means it's possible to implement selective hardware-based redundancy mechanisms such as HSR (High-availability Seamless Redundancy), PRP (Parallel Redundancy Protocol) and DLR (Device Level Ring) directly in the field. The new software update, which also enables TSN, can now be loaded into the FPGA as an alternative to previous redundancy mechanisms. “This provides users with an additional possibility for responding flexibly to the wide range of requirements and building high-performance industrial IT infrastructures,” said Dr. Kleineberg.