AuthorsT. Skeie, S. Johannessen and Ø. Holmeide
TitleTimeliness of Real-Time IP Communication in Switched Industrial Ethernet Networks
AfilliationNetworks, Communication Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics
Date PublishedFebruary

Since its invention at Xerox PARC in 1973, the Ethernet technology has proven to be both robust and adaptable. Through several giant evolution steps Ethernet has become an almost ubiquitous communication technology, spanning from enterprise or local area net-working through high performance backplane interconnects (a very recent initiative) to metropolitan (telecommunication) networking. Being nimble enough to maneuver into new application areas, it is now making inroads in factory communication. Automation systems are, however, different from many of the other application areas mentioned, first and foremost since they require real-time performance from the network technology. In this article we will look at some critical aspects of Ethernet as an automa-tion network, usually referred to as Industrial Ethernet. More specifically, we focus on the application-to-application delay and jitter characteristics of such networks, when us-ing Internet protocols such as UDP and TCP. We show the importance of taking control of the latency in the station nodes, since the main communication delays are inside the nodes, and present different solutions for controlling these delays. In particular, a prior-ity-based protocol stack is assessed. Our results show a significant evolution in the appli-cability of real-time Ethernet based IP communication, which is now adequate even for demanding automation applications. In this paper we use substation automation (power distribution) as an example of a demanding automation system

Citation KeySkeie.2006.1