Can I Sync a TSN-Enabled Device with a Non-TSN-Enabled Device?

Updated Jun 13, 2019

Reported In

Hardware

  • cRIO-9045
  • NI-9149
  • cRIO-9049
  • cRIO-9046
  • cRIO-9043
  • cRIO-9042
  • cRIO-9040
  • cRIO-9048
  • IC-3171
  • IC-3172
  • IC-3173
  • cRIO-9035
  • cRIO-9039
  • cDAQ-9189
  • cDAQ-9185

Issue Details

I have a TSN-enabled device from NI and a non-TSN enabled device. Can I sync these two devices? 

Solution

NI TSN (Time Sensitive Networking) devices are IEEE 802.1AS compliant devices designed to be synchronized on the hardware level. If your devices are not both 802.1AS-compliant, they can't be synchronized with TSN. An option you have to sync the devices is over software with IEEE 1588-2008 Software Timing using NI-TimeSync. Have a look at Using NI-TimeSync to Configure IEEE 1588 and 802.1AS Time References for a detailed description on how to do this. Note that this only synchronizes the Real-Time clocks (not FPGA), and synchronizes with an accuracy of 1 ms, whereas TSN has an accuracy of 1 us or less.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that when you design a network based on NI TSN, all devices in the synchronization chain must explicitly support IEEE 802.1AS. That also includes network switches and media converters.

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