Synchronizing Real-Time Tasks in Time-Triggered Networks

Eleftherios Kyriakakis, Jens Sparsø, Peter Puschner, Martin Schoeberl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In order to guarantee end-to-end latency and minimal jitter in distributed real-time systems, it is necessary to provide tight synchronization between computation and communication. This requires time-predictable execution of tasks across all processing nodes, and the use of a network protocol that can provide a global time base and bounded communication latency. TTEthernet is one such industrial communication protocol. This paper investigates the synchronization of the task execution schedule with the underlying communication schedule, and we propose an open-source software framework for time-triggered end-systems. We present the implementation of a static cyclic task schedule, on a time-predictable platform that is integrated within a TTEthernet network and synchronized with the communication schedule. We evaluate the presented framework by developing a simple one-sensor, one-actuator industrial control example, distributed over three nodes that communicate over a single TTEthernet switch. The presented real-time system can exchange messages with minimal jitter as the distributed tasks are synchronized over the TTEthernet network with about 1.6 us precision. Due to the tight time synchronization, the system can operate stably with zero missed frames, using a single receiver and a single transmitter buffer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2021 IEEE 24th International Symposium on Real-Time Distributed Computing (ISORC)
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-4735-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event24th IEEE International Symposium on Real-Time Distributed Computing - Virtual event, Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021
Conference number: 24


Conference24th IEEE International Symposium on Real-Time Distributed Computing
LocationVirtual event
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


  • Clock synchronization
  • Cyclic executive
  • Time-triggered communication
  • WCET analysis


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