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Industrial MCU lowers Ethernet packet jitter

Posted: 04 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet packet jitter? industrial real-time MCU?

Innovasic Semiconductor announced that in recent lab tests conducted by Schneider Electric, its fido1100 real-time MCU achieved a worst-case Ethernet packet jitter of only 130?s. In contrast, a RISC processor running at more than twice the clock rate achieved a worst- case jitter of 760?s.

The difference in jitter is significant in industrial Ethernet applications where hard real-time control or mission-critical data transactions may have to co-exist with lower priority web and file transfer traffic. The use of standard Ethernet as an industrial control network can be problematic if time-critical communications are impacted by other lower priority network traffic. For example, a nuclear power plant was shut down because a spike in Ethernet traffic caused the recirculation pump controllers to lock up.

The fido1100 MCU, running at 66MHz, achieved a worst-case latency of 1.1ms and worst-case jitter of 130?s. The processor running at 133MHz achieved a worst-case latency of 1.8ms and worst case jitter of 760?s. Both systems were tested using a Modbus/TCP application with varying amount of background Ethernet traffic. Details of the testing and results are available in a white paper at

"With QoS becoming an increasingly important factor in many embedded applications, customers using the fido1100 MCU can now design systems with reliable and timely processing of high priority Ethernet traffic," noted Keith Prettyjohns, CEO of Innovasic Semiconductor. The unique "RTOS Kernel in a Chip" architecture of the fido1100 MCU enabled Schneider Electric to process high priority Modbus/TCP packets in a deterministic manner regardless of the amount of lower priority Ethernet traffic that was on the same network.

- Henri Arnold
EE Times Europe

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