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

Updated Dec 13, 2023

Reported In


  • 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? 


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.