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ew 2024: Kontron Talks Networks Solutions and TSN

Wolfgang Hüether, Business Development Director at Kontron, a global leader in the IoT and embedded computing space, discusses the practical aspects of Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) technology and provides insights into how customers can seamlessly integrate it into real-world applications at embedded world 2024.


Who are your main customers and what are their priorities?

Wolfgang Hüther: Our main customers for the time sensitive network solutions are from the industrial automation field. And some applications are also coming from other verticals, but that’s the main focus. Obviously, automation is at the spearhead of the technology in that case. That’s where we focus on right now.

What are the most intriguing and challenging aspects of TSN technology?

Wolfgang Hüther: The main benefit for TSN, for time sensitive networks, is the possibility to have a real time traffic over Ethernet. And therefore you need to have time stamping. You have a real-time controlled environment. And ensuring that it’s done by the standards that are now finalized for time sensitive networks. So it’s a stable standard that we can base on. And that’s where now the time is there for solutions for that market. The main benefit of it is to have the workload consolidation on a industrial PC, for example, and use the standard IT infrastructure for real time traffic. That’s something that is now newly established and you can use the IT networks for OT applications. The challenges in that market currently to be addressed still are time synchronization and network management mainly. Which is not always present in the IT network space. Or the other way around, the management of networks in the OT contacts is usually very simple. So we need to bring together these two worlds and make sure that everything runs smoothly. And that’s something where the industry is currently working on, including Kontron.

Tell us about your partnership with Intel

Wolfgang Hüther: Intel helped, from the beginning, in the standardization of time sensitive networks. One of the results was to offer Ethernet controllers that enabled the TSN traffic as well. And another prerequisite that Intel contributes is the Time Controlled Computing, TCC, that is now part of the processors itself. And in this example that we showcase here, we have Tiger Lake processors in the version that have the TCC support. That’s a prerequisite to run real-time applications on the current generation of industrial PCs.

How does Kontron help customers get started with TSN?

Wolfgang Hüther: Kontron tries to make it simple to start with times sensitive networks. On one hand we have the industrial PCs, based on Intel® silicon, that supports the technology. But we also have switches that support time-sensitive networks, that are built for that purpose. And we are one of the first companies, if not the only one right now, who offer a commercialized switch that can be used in trials, but early applications as well.

What can you tell us about your embedded world 2024 demos?

Wolfgang Hüther: At embedded world we have a focus, on one hand on this demo, which now showcases the Linux TSN test bench that we show here. We actually have a demo that runs the actual round trip time between the industrial PC and the switches. And we measure that based on the on Linux test bench. In the end, we want also to show and demonstrate that the time is ripe for TSN in active use in real applications. It’s no longer just a standard that can be used. It’s something that is really establishing the futures. And we want to enable trials and the first proof of concept situations. We’re working with the industry to make that happen. With some partners, including Intel, obviously, to demonstrate what can be done with time sensitive networks today. Then our focus is, obviously, to meet as many customers as we can have, and get feedback on the work that has been done so far.

About the Author

Brandon is a long-time contributor to going back to its days as Embedded Innovator, with more than a decade of high-tech journalism and media experience in previous roles as Editor-in-Chief of electronics engineering publication Embedded Computing Design, co-host of the Embedded Insiders podcast, and co-chair of live and virtual events such as Industrial IoT University at Sensors Expo and the IoT Device Security Conference. Brandon currently serves as marketing officer for electronic hardware standards organization, PICMG, where he helps evangelize the use of open standards-based technology. Brandon’s coverage focuses on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, embedded processors, edge computing, prototyping kits, and safety-critical systems, but extends to any topic of interest to the electronic design community. Drop him a line at, DM him on Twitter @techielew, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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