Ethernet as a Real-Time Technology

Written by: Sebastian Lammermann

Published: Tue, 17 Jun 2008

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This seminar paper relates to the subject “Ethernet as a real-time technology” which was part of the Operating Systems course offered by the University of Telecommunications, Leipzig in summer term 2008.

The goal of this seminar paper is to point out and to analyse different methods towards a real-time Ethernet-based networking technology. The focus is on two relatively popular approaches, RTnet and RETHER, which are described in detail. In both the original algorithm responsible for access on the medium is replaced with a deterministic one. In addition other suggestions are mentioned and all is supplemented by further considerations. The functionality of each technology is illustrated and advantages and drawbacks are pointed out.

A definition of the term “real-time” is given as well as information about Ethernet in general and its CSMA/CD algorithm. The reason why Ethernet does not fulfil real-time constraints is also discussed.