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2002 : Implementation of a TTP/C Cluster Based on Commercial Gigabit Ethernet Components

Martin Schwarz

The development of time-triggered real-time systems has shown, how reliable and deterministic communication among a large number of computational nodes can be achieved through a statically defined time multiplexing scheme. Hitherto time-triggered message exchange has been realized by specifically developed microcontrollers, which can only be produced with high costs per unit and which work with bandwidths far below those of traditional network technologies, like Ethernet.

In contrast, common Ethernet controllers, which are produced in large numbers, offer a very attractive price/performance ratio. Therefore it seems obvious to ask, whether the advantages of both technologies can be combined in order to attain reliable, deterministic communication with broad bandwidth via inexpensive, commercially available communication controllers.

This thesis deals with the realization of this consideration: The time-triggered communication protocol TTP/C is implemented based on Gigabit Ethernet, the currently fastest commercially available network technology. The resulting prototype-implementation is examined for potential bottlenecks and problems. In course of this implementation, a general interface is defined, which enables computer systems, that originally have not been designed along the time-triggered approach, to participate in the time-triggered communication. During development special emphasis has been put on modularity and the design of clear interfaces in order to facilitate reuse of the developed components in future projects.

This work has been conducted in context of the NEXT TTA project of the European Union. While the first phase of this project has dealt with design and hardware selection, this prototype implementation constitutes the second phase. The subsequent third phase will analyze the achieved results in detail.

@mastersthesis{ schwarz:2002,
  author =      "Martin Schwarz",
  title =       "Implementation of a TTP/C Cluster Based on Commercial Gigabit Ethernet Components",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "2002"
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