Invited talk of Ingrid Moerman at 'WORKSHOP ON INDUSTRIAL WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES AND SYSTEMS' at IECON 2022 conference

The purpose of this workshop was to provide an opportunity for representatives from industry, academia, and government to work closely together to update the research community on the latest progresses, emerging use cases, future roadmaps, open challenges, and promising research directions related to wireless systems in challenging industrial environments with e.g., many potential physical obstructions and sources of interferences. Ingrid Moerman has given an invited talk “On a journey towards a flexible WiFi TSN Chip”, where the work on wireless time-sensitive networking (TSN) was presented enabled by IDLab’s openwifi open-source full stack WiFi Software Defined Radio platform (see The presentation was highly appreciated by main players in the field like ABB, Intel, Huawei, etc., who share imec-IDLab’s vision that TSN WiFi is a valuable complementary technology to 5G URLLC.

Abstract of the talk

Since the 1980s, Ethernet has been the standard technology for exchanging time-critical data such as, for instance, required for industrial process automation. Ethernet-based Time-Sensitive Networks (TSNs) are very robust, but also have a major drawback: with cables running everywhere, rearranging a factory’s production floor becomes quite a challenge. The manufacturing industry and other time-critical application domains are therefore calling for the installation of wireless TSNs, unhindered by the rollout of cables. In 2020, openwifi has been released as the first open-source full-stack Wi-Fi implementation, combining low-level FPGA functionalities with an embedded Linux driver. With full control over all design aspects, openwifi yields excellent opportunities for customization. One such opportunity is the realization of a Wi-Fi TSN chip. During this talk, we will elaborate on some of the design challenges in adding TSN capabilities to openwifi and achieving integration with wired TSN, and report on its performance in supporting time-critical control loops. We will show how PROFINET when integrated with a time-sensitive Wi-Fi network is capable to achieve a deterministic communication latency for safety-related applications and provide safety integrity levels (SIL) up to grade 4. These findings will be used to draw conclusions about the role of Wi- Fi in TSN and its positioning against 5G.