NXP advances TSN-enabled SoC for industrial IoT based on the IEEE 802.1 standards

NXP Semiconductor N.V. announced Wednesday its QorIQ Layerscape SoC, the LS1028A, integrating Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) capabilities based on the IEEE 802.1 standards.

The LS1028A builds on NXP’s Layerscape family of SoCs while adding significant capabilities, including upgraded 64-bit ARM Cortex v8 processor cores, an integrated 3D GPU and LCD controller, a four-port TSN switch and two separate TSN Ethernet controllers. The combination of time sensitive networking with a GPU enable the SoC to address industrial human machine interface and control applications.

The device is built on NXP’s Trust Architecture, which provides a root of trust, securing applications and services. It is designed to support both TSN bridging applications as well as TSN endpoint applications, and will be offered with a 15-year manufacturing promise.

As industrial OEMs design solutions for Industry 4.0, they must converge the operations technology (OT) domain with their information technology (IT) infrastructure. However, OT networks require guaranteed and timely delivery of packets, not the typical best-effort approach used in IT networks.

At the same time, current technologies in the OT domain are often limited to 10-100 Mbps, and do not have the bandwidth to support new technologies that are being applied to manufacturing, such as high-definition video. Time-sensitive networking supports legacy IT equipment and OT equipment on the same network, enabling Gigabit bandwidth while simplifying network deployment and management.

To provide deterministic Ethernet for industrial applications, IEEE defined TSN to support real-time, reliable networking. TSN represents the next step in the evolution of Ethernet as a networking technology and TSN-enabled Ethernet will play an important role in the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industry 4.0 revolution.

GE estimates that the industrial internet market could reach $225 billion by 2020.

OEMs can begin developing TSN-enabled systems today using NXP’s TSN reference design platform, accelerating prototyping and the deployment of next-generation industrial solutions. The reference design provides four switched Gigabit Ethernet TSN ports, combined with the processing and security capabilities of NXP’s Layerscape processors. The platform includes an open-source, industrial Linux SDK with real-time performance, TSN configuration support, and the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol.

Developers can show the benefits of TSN time-aware shaping and per-stream policing using the configuration software included with SDK.  Developer’s applications written for the reference design will be forward compatible with the LS1028A SoC through standard APIs.

“TSN is the foundation of the Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0, enabling the convergence of information and operational technology networks,” said Noy Kucuk, vice president, Digital Networking at NXP. “Building on NXP’s decades of industrial experience, the LS1028A solves important challenges in processing, connectivity, and low-power design.”

NXP also announced the Modular IoT Framework that offers professional development teams a head start in building innovative and secure IoT applications. Using the framework as a starting point, versus building a platform from individual components, can save time and expense by minimizing the scope and complexity involved with the integration of security and connectivity.

The Modular IoT Framework offers flexibility to mix and match NXP’s embedded hardware and software technologies spanning the vast array of capabilities required to develop and deploy interoperable IoT systems with edge devices, gateways, connectivity, security, and commissioning.

Framework components are tested and verified for ZigBee and Thread connectivity, as well as cloud communications through Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cellular and LoRa, enabling access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud platform services.

The framework is currently shipping through an Integrated Development Experience targeting commercial lighting and building automation use cases, which includes modular edge node platform with Thread and ZigBee support; modular IoT Gateway with support for Thread and ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and a secure element; NFC based device commissioning; smartphone app reference design for device control through the cloud; and cloud service reference design on Amazon Web Services, and cloud connectivity reference design using MQTT and CoAP.

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