© 2016 IEEE. Real-time Ethernet (RTE) is widely recognized for its potential to provide a unified communication backbone for next-generation heterogeneous distributed systems. However, most of the existing research in RTE technologies has traditionally focused on formal models and theoretical analyzes of timing properties, usually omitting the associated implementation challenges for testing them in practice. This gap between theory and practice prevents experimental validation of the claimed properties, which in turn hinders the pace of innovation and adoption of the technology in industrial settings. This paper aims at narrowing the theory-practice gap by characterizing a comprehensive open-source RTE framework that explores emerging challenges in real-time networking, including the provision of ultra-low latency and jitter, dynamic bandwidth management, and segmentation within large networks. This work integrates research on formal abstractions for dynamic time-division multiple access arbitration and technological insights from modern hardware infrastructure, and uses a representative distributed video processing application to provide reproducible evidence of the achieved properties in multihop Ethernet settings. By leveraging readily available technology and an open-source design, the proposed framework facilitates further exploration and experimental validation of properties that are beyond the scope of current commercial technologies, encouraging evidence-based discussions to accelerate development and adoption of new standards for next-generation industrial networks.
Carvajal, G., Araneda, L., Wolf, A., Figueroa, M., & Fischmeister, S. (2016). Integrating Dynamic-TDMA Communication Channels into COTS Ethernet Networks. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 1806-1816. https://doi.org/10.1109/TII.2016.2535255