Qualcomm Technologies and Bosch Rexroth have been working together to make 5G-enabled industrial manufacturing a reality, and recently at this year’s Smart Production Solutions (SPS) trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany, they are showcasing the next step in that journey: a successful demonstration of industrial devices utilizing time-sensitive networking (TSN) technology while operating over a live 5G network.
“Time-sensitive networking is a fundamental enabling technology for industrial automation, and having the capability to run TSN over wireless 5G networks will allow for greater flexibility on the factory floor,” said Yongbin Wei, vice president, engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing collaboration with Bosch Rexroth, and we are looking forward to demonstrating the full capabilities of 5G TSN as part of Release 16 next year.”
Our joint demo allows visitors to view two industrial devices operating in a time-synchronized manner over a wireless connection – showing that the combination of TSN and 5G can enable precise synchronization without the need for a wired connection.
In this demo, Bosch Rexroth is presenting their new ctrlX AUTOMATION solution, in which two ctrlX CORE controls interact with each other in real time over a 5G test network, which is utilizing a Qualcomm® 5G industrial test device. The network is operating in the 3.7-3.8 GHz spectrum band – the spectrum band that has been earmarked for regional and local networks in Germany.
“Our ctrlX Automation platform will allow industrial machine manufacturers to choose between real-time wired Industrial Ethernet or real-time 5G wireless communication according to their needs – without having to change the machine application. This was made possible thanks to our close cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies,” said Gunther May, Director of Technology at Bosch Rexroth AG.
Qualcomm Technologies and Bosch Rexroth share an ongoing research collaboration to work on 5G applications for industrial settings. At Mobile World Congress this past February we announced a joint study of radio channels in industrial environments to learn how to best service the unique requirements of 21st-century factory floors.
This new joint proof-of-concept is a precursor to the upcoming 5G capability to support TSN natively. This feature is expected to become available in the next release of the 5G specifications – 3GPP Release 16 – scheduled to be finalized in the first half of 2020.