With the support of Time Sensitive Networking (TSN), Ethernet is eliminating the need for separate Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) networks, providing a more ubiquitous approach to synchronization and precision timing for today’s industrial automation systems.
However, to accomplish this, the use of multi-chip proprietary solutions has often been required, increasing both complexity and costs for developers. To help eliminate reliance on such sole-sourced, expensive and proprietary solutions for deterministic communications, Microchip Technology Inc. has announced its SparX-5i family of Ethernet switches – a single-chip, IEEE standards-based solution that offers the industry’s most complete TSN feature set.
“With Microchip’s SparX-5i family of Ethernet switches, we’re providing our customers with a simplified pathway to a TSN compatible infrastructure, helping them achieve real-time data communication across their entire network,” said Charles Forni, VP of Microchip’s USB and networking business unit. “The SparX-5i family is the first Microchip device in a line of TSN switch developments that will address all levels of the industrial automation network, from the field bus to the factory backbone.”
The SparX-5i family 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 Synchronization, 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. In addition, 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 the most flexible connectivity solution available in the market.
In addition to the SparX-5i family, 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.
The VSC6817SDK IStaX Linux Application Software is a turnkey industrial Ethernet switch software solution designed to support Microchip’s managed Ethernet switch devices. The software uses the latest Linux operating system for optimal performance and cost-effective implementation. It’s highly integrated with advanced L2+ switch features, such as QCLs and ACLs, and includes support for key TSN features.
In addition, Microchip offers an Ethernet Switch and PHY Application Programming Interface (VSC6803API) – MESA – providing a comprehensive, user-friendly function library that is operating-system independent. Evaluation boards and reference designs are also available upon request.
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