On the "Embedded World 2018" show in Nuremberg, Germany, an interesting project was shown on the booth of the OSADL (Open Source Automation Lab) a registered cooperative with the mission to provide, distribute and license Open Source software components for industrial products. One of the examples is the development of an open source code providing the software of OPC UA and TSN for the Ethernet-based communication interface of embedded industrial control boards. OSADL has member companies from different industries (e.g. automation suppliers, machine builders, medical diagnostic instrument manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, academic institutes, etc.).
TSN evaluation kit
KONTRON showed a TSN evaluation kit and demonstrated how TSN can secure hard real-time motion control synchronization on an converged Ethernet-based communication. They furthermore showed an OPC UA communication of the generated motor sensor data to the Cloud via a Microsoft Azure IOT Edge Gateway.. Because not all necessary standards are yet available, Kontron's controller board is equipped with an FPGA rather than an ASIC. So, no hardware change is necessary if the code is incrementally adjusted to later released parts of standards. The important message of Kontron to the market is to start testing with the available components and technologies to gain insights and experience and shorten time to the market.
The strength and variety of OSADL members supporting open source software development like OPC UA over TSN, ensures - so Kontron - a fast and low-cost availability of industrial communication based on OPC UA and TSN.