The TT-Ethernet project is supported by FIT-IT, an Austrian research programme initiatiated by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation, and Technology (BMVIT).

The project is lasting from March 2004 to December 2006.

It is the goal of the TT-Ethernet project to develop a time-triggered (TT) Ethernet with predictable temporal performance and strong fault-isolation for use in safety-critical real-time control systems in automotive, avionics and railway domains and at multimedia systems. The TT-Ethernet is fully compatible with the current Ethernet standard as proposed by IEEE and supports the parallel operation of classic Ethernet nodes and TT-Ethernet nodes within the same cluster.

The set of Ethernet messages is partitioned into two classes, the classic event-triggered (ET) Ethernet messages and the high-priority time-triggered Ethernet messages. TT messages are transported through the proposed new Ethernet switch with an a priori known constant delay and minimal jitter (in the sub-microsecond range). If an ET message is in the way of a TT message, the ET message is preempted. The TT messages can be used to synchronize the clocks in the nodes to a high precision and thus establish a sparse global time base. Based on this global time a schedule for the transmission of the TT messages can be established - either statically at compile time or dynamically at run time. The newly designed Ethernet switch will contain special algorithms to support strong fault isolation.

By extending the time-triggered technology to high-speed Ethernet based systems, it is expected to significantly extend the market for time-triggered systems to new application domains in the control field and in the multimedia field. It is anticipated that this research project will form part of the technology base for the next generation of time-triggered products.