Anvu Alliance hosts TSN plugfest

April 21, 2022

Avnu Alliance, the industry forum driving deterministic capabilities into open, standards-based networking, recently hosted an international plugfest in Boston, Mass. Avnu members came together and tested their respective silicon platforms and products together. Tests included new additions to the time-sensitive networking (TSN) “toolbox” such as the recent revision to 802.1AS (IEEE 802.1AS-2020). Learnings and results are informing further development of Avnu test plans.

The plugfest included four Avnu member silicon companies: Analog Devices, Intel, NXP Semiconductor Inc. and Texas Instruments. Also present were companies with end devices using TSN, including professional AV companies Adamson Systems Engineering, L-Acoustics and Meyer Sound, as well as test equipment supplier Keysight. Members were able to connect their platforms and devices in different configurations following a plan that was structured prior to the event to ensure optimum coverage and use of the time. The unique mix of devices and testing equipment enabled insights to be gathered in real world scenarios, such as various implementations of 802.1AS on a single network. The range of perspectives and experience provided for constructive and lively discussions between suppliers and users of TSN components to take place on real world usages and needs.

“Plugfests like the one Avnu hosted in Boston, Mass., are a critical part of driving interoperability for devices designed around the IEEE TSN specifications. Together with the certification efforts driven by Avnu such plugfests represent an important next step in the adoption of TSN,” said Dieter Cohrs, IoT real-time capability manger,Intel Corp.

Genio Kronauer, executive director of electronics & networks technologies, L-Acoustics, added: “The Avnu Alliance plugfests serve as an invaluable tool for L-Acoustics to test the interoperability of our devices. The plugfest was a platform for us to connect with other audio and networking device manufacturers, especially the silicon manufacturers, who are working on the advancement of TSN and Milan protocols."

“NXP was pleased to participate in the Avnu Alliance TSN plugfest to help facilitate the broad adoption of TSN technologies in multiple industries,” said Jeff Steinheider, vice president and general manager, industrial edge processing at NXP. “We look forward to joining the upcoming sessions that will include a wider set of TSN features, specified in the IEEE’s open standards for TSN.”

“Plugfests are an invaluable opportunity to validate TSN features on our silicon and low-level software interoperates with others. Remote is not a practical option when nanoseconds matter,” said Pekka Varis, senior member technical staff, Texas Instruments.

In March 2020, silicon manufacturers within Avnu formed the Silicon Validation Task Group, recognizing that interoperability is required at the silicon level to enable specialization up the stack. This group has been working to drive alignment on TSN interoperability by developing base test plans, the first of which are now available to members with more planned for this year. This plugfest was the first physical interoperability testing opportunity where multiple vendors were present. Data from this event will be used to refine these test plans.

“The recent Avnu plugfest was a great experience and an invaluable tool to ensure interoperability of silicon for TSN features. ADI looks forward to continued participation as we build out the TSN ecosystem,” said Jordon Woods, product line director, Industrial Ethernet, Analog Devices.

“The continued development and interoperability testing of silicon is key to the industries that utilize TSN in their products. This work allows manufacturers to bring high-performance, cost-effective products to market,” saidTim Boot, director of global marketing, Meyer Sound.

In October 2021, Avnu also announced the new Milan Advanced Certification Program to provide faster, more convenient, and less expensive testing and certification of professional AV endpoint devices. This plugfest was a unique hands-on opportunity for Milan manufacturers to test connectivity and interoperability, share best practices between companies, and leverage the Avnu Express Testing Suite developed as part of the program.

Another plugfest is planned for the May timeframe, to be held in Germany.

“Avnu plugfests are an excellent opportunity to ensure the interoperability of the devices being developed within the Milan specification, ours included. It's always a pleasure when the industry's driving forces can come together and mutually advance a format that benefits the entire community,” said Brian Fraser, head of product and technology, Adamson Systems Engineering.

The Avnu Alliance will host additional plugfests this year at locations around the world for its members.

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