2021 was again a year that we spent at home, working from our living rooms, bedrooms, kitchen even, sometimes… This new normal that has disrupted all our habits, and it also affected the activities of the IEEE 802.1 Time-Sensitive Networking Task Group (TSN TG). Since the beginning of the pandemic, the bi-monthly face-to-face interims and plenaries have been conducted online instead. And even though there are some clear advantages of this modality (no jet-lag, better eco footprint), we missed what sometimes is the most productive parts of the meetings: the coffee break conversations. Also, let me tell you, spending a full week (that for the plenaries even extends to 7 days), with meetings 7 hours in a row (for many of us in a different time zone), can be as devastating for your body as a 12 hour flight to the other side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, thanks to the commitment and hard work from the chairs, editors and contributors, the work on the TSN TG has kept progressing. What you will find here is a selection of highlights of the TSN TG activities in 2021.
The year started with a newly approved Project Authorization Request (PAR) for the P802.1DP / SAE AS6675 TSN for Aerospace Onboard Ethernet Communications profile. This project has been quite active throughout the year with many rich technical discussions, focusing more on understanding the aerospace use-cases and what how the TSN mechanisms can support them. There is still no draft available, but the more recent proposal is envisioning a profile with two sub-profiles: an asynchronous profile aimed to cover current use-cases and a synchronous profile for future use cases requiring clock synchronization with IEEE 802.1AS-2020.
And continuing with the profiles, the work on the TSN Profile for Industrial Automation, P60802, has been as intense as ever. In March the comments resolution on the third Task Group Ballot finished, a new draft (D1.3) was ready by August and the forth TG Ballot break another record on the number of comments with more than one thousand. With such workload it is not surprise that the project is a bit delayed, but such engagement is a proof of the interest from the Industry. (Is Industrial Automation your main focus? stay tuned for next publications!)
This year we have also seen many projects getting to the final stages before publication. Among them we can count the ones developing YANG models for TSN mechanisms: P802.1Qcw (whose editor is TSN.studio staff Marina Gutiérrez), P802.1ABcu, P802.1CBcv. These projects are maybe not as flashy as others, but the development of standardized YANG models is a cornerstone of the configuration of Time-Sensitive Networks. And very much related to the configuration, this year we have seen a lot of contributions for P802.1Qdj Configuration Enhancements for Time-Sensitive Networking. (Are you as interested in TSN configuration as we are? stay tuned for next publications!)
And as some projects are coming to a close, some other projects are starting. Several other PARs are being proposed for approval or drafting, in different areas like time synchronization, traffic shaping and flow control. And 2022 cannot have started stronger, than with the crafting of PAR and CSD for the much anticipated Cut-Through Forwarding standard.
So, stay tuned, because 2022 is going to be very exciting for time-sensitive networking, whether it is from our homes, or finally traveling again.