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Real-Time Ethernet: Challenges and Prospects
Prof. Eduardo Tovar, PolyTech Inst. of Porto
Ethernet is the most popular LAN technology. Its low price and robustness,
resulting from its wide acceptance and deployment, has created an eagerness
to expand its responsibilities to the factory-floor, where real-time
requirements are to be fulfilled. However, it is difficult to build a
real-time control network using Ethernet, because its MAC protocol, the
1-persistent CSMA/CD protocol with the BEB collision resolution algorithm,
has unpredictable delay characteristics.Many anticipate that the recent technological advances in Ethernet such as
the emerging Fast/Gigabit Ethernet, prioritization, micro-segmentation and
full-duplex operation using switches will also enable it to support
time-critical applications.This talk will look at the unpredictability inherent to Ethernet and at
recent technological advances towards real-time operation. It will also
address recently introduced features such as spanning tree protocols, port
trunking and virtual LANs which may potentially enable flexibility and
mobility in distributed time-critical systems.