Finding a TSN-Enabled Switch for Synchronizing NI TSN Devices

Updated Apr 20, 2020

Reported In

Hardware

  • Industrial Controller
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • CompactDAQ Controller

Issue Details

I am using the Sync model of CompactDAQ (cDAQ), CompactRIO (cRIO), or Industrial Controller and am utilizing Time Sensitive Networking (TSN). I need to purchase Ethernet switches that are TSN-compatible to use in my network.

Solution

For applications requiring 802.1AS Time-Based synchronisation we would recommend cRIO-9805 Ethernet Switch Expansion Module. Further information on this switch can be found in the cRIO-9805 Specifications. This module can be used with layer 1 fiber to copper converters should you wish to use SFP ports for fiber optic cables. 

However, if you require support for other profiles such as IEEE 1588 or 802.1Qbv, National Instruments recommends working with Cisco switches with our TSN-enabled devices. We recommend the model IE-4000-8GT4G-E as it is the best match for the standard NI offering.

Additional Information

The IE-4000-8GT4G-El provides:
  • 12 GigE ports (4 can be used with fiber optic cables)
  • TSN support (time sync and scheduled flows) on all 12 ports
  • Industrial temp and shock ratings
  • 24V redundant DC power inputs
NI does not sell this switch directly, but it can be procured through standard Cisco channels. To find a distributor, use the Cisco Orders page. For more information and for questions on purchasing and using Cisco switches, please see the NI TSN Forum.

Once received, the firmware will need to be updated to the latest version in order to support TSN synchronization. For details on selecting and installing the correct firmware for your switch please see Installing IOS SW TSN Support on a Cisco IE4000 Switch.

If your application also requires deterministic data transfer, you will also need the centralized network configuration software (CNC). This CNC is not commercially released yet but we are working closely with Cisco to be able to provide NI customers with beta access to this software. Please contact NI via email CNCrequest@ni.com if you need to request access to this beta program. In the email please include your full name, company name, NI TSN controllers you will use in the system, and your NI sales representative's name.