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How time sensitive networking can boost domestic chip production

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How Time Sensitive Networking Can Boost Domestic Chip Production

How Time Sensitive Networking Can Boost Domestic Chip Production

Semiconductors are one of America's largest exports, and American companies that design and sell chips account for nearly half of global revenue in the sector, the greatest share of any country. Although the U.S. is the global leader in semiconductor R&D, chip design, fabless firms as well as integrated device and microprocessor manufacturing, it only accounts for around 12 percent of global semiconductor production capacity.

With U.S. lawmakers vowing to change that by pushing billions of dollars into expanding the manufacturing capabilities for semiconductor chips, domestic semiconductor manufacturing is poised for growth.

The US semiconductor industry is already among the most automated, with the sector even surpassing automotive as the largest customer of industrial robots. As a next step, leveraging time-sensitive networking (TSN) will be critical to maximizing throughput, productivity, precision and accuracy in chip production facilities, as it is the enabling technology for an industry that needs guaranteed data reliability, integrity and high performance.

Transparency is critical

Fabs and other sector-specific manufacturing facilities have a track record of pushing the performance boundaries of automation and smart manufacturing when it comes to semiconductor production. Vendors must be able to deliver technology that will maximize the industry's manufacturing performance.

In addition, producers of chips and other electronic equipment need to ensure maximum precision and accuracy, operating under stringent environmental conditions to deliver high-quality products. Effective track and trace systems that can monitor the movement of resources and goods across factories as well as the entire supply chain are also a priority.

Converging OT and IT

To succeed in this, it is crucial to set up a communications network that, in addition to deterministic performance capabilities, can also support higher enterprise-level systems for robust material tracking and tracing throughout the entire production line and beyond. Ultimately, what semiconductor manufacturers require is a network technology to enable the highly effective convergence between the operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) domains.

TSN is ideal to address these needs, as this technology was developed to enhance industrial Ethernet so that it could merge disparate types of data traffic. In effect, thanks to TSN functions, it is possible to support additional standard protocols, such as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). More precisely, by providing guaranteed data transport with bounded low latency, networks based on TSN are able to transfer best-effort traffic as well as mission-critical data in a timely manner.

Given these key benefits, the positive impact that the application of TSN to automation products can have in driving up the competitiveness of the semiconductor industry and automation product developers is clear. More precisely, vendors offering TSN-enabled solutions can meet current and future market needs while advancing the performance of their devices.

CC-Link IE is future-ready

Selecting the right network technology is crucial to helping vendors deliver truly future-oriented devices. When companies opt to use CC-Link IE TSN for their products they can offer TSN functions and benefit from additional advantages. Most notably, this is the first open industrial Ethernet that combines gigabit bandwidth and TSN. As a result, in addition to traffic synchronization and scheduling, the technology also supports today's Ethernet speeds such as 1Gbps transmission rates. This is key to facilitating the prompt, simultaneous transfer of large volumes of IT and OT data from different assets.

CC-Link IE TSN was also designed to provide a broad development ecosystem. Vendors are able to leverage the tools that are best suited to address their specific needs, in terms of end product performance as well as time, resources and investment. Thanks to these features, automation specialists that leverage CC-Link IE TSN can maximize the opportunities available in the semiconductor sector, helping to drive the industry forward.

Visit to learn more about CC-Link and its TSN protocol.

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