Ethernet switches increase connectivity with TSN features

Ethernet switches in Microchip’s SparX-5i family are claimed to provide the industry’s most complete time sensitive networking (TSN) feature set. The Ethernet switches enable increased connectivity and network optimisation while lowering costs for industrial automation networks, adds Microchip.

TSN eliminates the need for separate Ethernet IT and operational technology networks with synchronisation and precision timing for industrial automation systems. Multi-chip proprietary solutions are often used but this increases complexity and costs for developers, says Microchip. To help eliminate reliance on sole-sourced, expensive and proprietary solutions for deterministic communications, Microchip Technology has introduced the SparX-5i family of Ethernet switches which are a single-chip switch which supports the key TSN IEEE standards needed for a complete real-time communication solution. These include IEEE 1588v2 and IEEE 802.1AS-REV profile for time synchronisation, IEEE 802.1Qbv for traffic shaping, IEEE 802.1Qbu/802.3br for delay reduction, IEEE 802.1Qci for stream policing and IEEE 802.1CB for seamless redundancy. Offering these standards in a single chip guarantees end-to-end transmission of high-priority traffic with extremely low latency, Microchip explains. The family supports standard L2/L3 Ethernet with up to 200G of bandwidth, incorporating 100M, 1G, 2.5G, 5G, 10G and 25 GbE interfaces for flexible connectivity.

“With Microchip’s SparX-5i family of Ethernet switches, we’re providing our customers with a simplified pathway to a TSN compatible infrastructure,” said Charles Forni, vice president of Microchip’s USB and networking business unit. The switches help developers achieve real-time data communication across the entire network, he added. The SparX-5i family is the first device in a line of TSN switch developments to address all levels of the industrial automation network, from the field bus to the factory backbone.

Microchip also provides the SparX-5 family of enterprise Ethernet switches supporting standard L2/L3 Ethernet with up to 200G of bandwidth, incorporating 100M, 1G, 2.5G, 5G, 10G and 25 GbE interfaces.

To support the managed Ethernet switches, the company offers the VSC6817SDK IStaX Linux application software. This turnkey industrial Ethernet switch software uses the latest Linux operating system. It is integrated with advanced L2+ switch features, such as QCLs and ACLs, and includes support for key TSN features.

Microchip’s Ethernet Switch and PHY application programming interface (VSC6803API), MESA, provides a function library that is OS-independent. Evaluation boards and reference designs are also available upon request.

SparX-5i and SparX-5 switches are available now in volume production.

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