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 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.

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.

“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, vice president 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.”

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.