GE Fanuc Debuts Time-Triggered Ethernet for Safety-Critical Avionics

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, announced that it is adding a deterministic Ethernet technology to the company’s broad range of solutions for avionics applications. Known as Time-Triggered Ethernet (TTEthernet), and developed by TTTech Computertechnik AG of Vienna, Austria, this new technology responds to the growing demand for reliable, fault tolerant, safety critical solutions that are both high bandwidth and scalable. Products based on TTEthernet, which is designed to allow for DO-178 and DO-254 certification, are used to connect systems on safety critical platforms. Their determinism – the ability to guarantee that an information packet is sent/received in a finite amount of time – helps to prevent unintended behavior or interruption in complex systems.

“Ethernet is the most pervasive communications technology in computing today with its high bandwidth, simplicity and low cost,” said Ben Daniel, Avionics Product Manager at GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. “However, it does not natively feature determinism – a characteristic that is absolutely required for safety-critical applications such as civilian aircraft. TTEthernet addresses this need, and provides an exciting, open standards-based alternative to aging legacy technologies such as MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC-429.”

TTEthernet offers full scalability for realtime architectures based on Ethernet, Key benefits of TTEthernet for real-time systems include inherently higher throughput, complexity reduction, excellent scalability, and reduction of system life-cycle costs. Engineering, maintenance and training costs are considerably lower than those for many other avionics bus technologies.

TTEthernet expands classical Ethernet with powerful services to meet the growing requirement for time-critical, deterministic or safety-relevant systems. TTEthernet ‘s open networking technology for real-time industrial automation, aerospace and other transportation industry applications provides interoperability with AFDX and ARINC 664 allowing TTEthernet’s deterministic capabilities to be added into existing network solutions.

GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms will be announcing a suite of Time Triggered Ethernet products in the third quarter of 2009 and are currently working with key customers, who are already adopting this technology for new projects.

About GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms
GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, a joint venture between general Electric Company (NYSE: GE) and FANUC LTD of Japan, is an experienced high-performance technology company and a global provider of hardware, software, services, and expertise in automation and embedded computing. We offer a unique foundation of agile, advanced and ultra-reliable technology that provides customers a sustainable advantage in the industries they serve, including energy, water, consumer packaged goods, government & defense, and telecommunications. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms is a worldwide company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA and is part of GE Enterprise Solutions.