The Time-Triggered Wireless Architecture

Authors Romain Jacob , Licong Zhang, Marco Zimmerling , Jan Beutel , Samarjit Chakraborty , Lothar Thiele

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Author Details

Romain Jacob
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Licong Zhang
  • TU Munich, Germany
Marco Zimmerling
  • TU Dresden, Germany
Jan Beutel
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Samarjit Chakraborty
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, United States
Lothar Thiele
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland

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Romain Jacob, Licong Zhang, Marco Zimmerling, Jan Beutel, Samarjit Chakraborty, and Lothar Thiele. The Time-Triggered Wireless Architecture. In 32nd Euromicro Conference on Real-Time Systems (ECRTS 2020). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 165, pp. 19:1-19:25, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Wirelessly interconnected sensors, actuators, and controllers promise greater flexibility, lower installation and maintenance costs, and higher robustness in harsh conditions than wired solutions. However, to facilitate the adoption of wireless communication in cyber-physical systems (CPS), the functional and non-functional properties must be similar to those known from wired architectures. We thus present Time-Triggered Wireless (TTW), a wireless architecture for multi-mode CPS that offers reliable communication with guarantees on end-to-end delays among distributed applications executing on low-cost, low-power embedded devices. We achieve this by exploiting the high reliability and deterministic behavior of a synchronous transmission based communication stack we design, and by coupling the timings of distributed task executions and message exchanges across the wireless network by solving a novel co-scheduling problem. While some of the concepts in TTW have existed for some time and TTW has already been successfully applied for feedback control and coordination of multiple mechanical systems with closed-loop stability guarantees, this paper presents the key algorithmic, scheduling, and networking mechanisms behind TTW, along with their experimental evaluation, which have not been known so far. TTW is open source and ready to use:

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Real-time system architecture
  • Computer systems organization → Sensors and actuators
  • Networks → Sensor networks
  • Time-triggered architecture
  • wireless bus
  • synchronous transmissions


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