AES Show: Make the Right Connections Audio Engineering Society

AES San Francisco 2008
Tutorial T2

Thursday, October 2, 11:00 am — 1:00 pm

T2 - Standards-Based Audio Networks Using IEEE 802.1 AVB

Robert Boatright, Harman International - CA, USA
Matthew Xavier Mora, Apple - Cupertino, CA, USA
Michael Johas Teener, Broadcom Corp. - Irvine CA, USA

Recent work by IEEE 802 working groups will allow vendors to build a standards-based network with the appropriate quality of service for high quality audio performance and production. This new set of standards, developed by the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group, provides three major enhancements for 802-based networks:

1. Precise timing to support low-jitter media clocks and accurate synchronization of multiple streams,
2. A simple reservation protocol that allows an endpoint device to notify the various network elements in a path so that they can reserve the resources necessary to support a particular stream, and
3. Queuing and forwarding rules that ensure that such a stream will pass through the network within the delay specified by the reservation.

These enhancements require no changes to the Ethernet lower layers and are compatible with all the other functions of a standard Ethernet switch (a device that follows the IEEE 802.1Q bridge specification). As a result, all of the rest of the Ethernet ecosystem is available to developers—in particular, the various high speed physical layers (up to 10 gigabit/sec in current standards, even higher speeds are in development), security features (encryption and authorization), and advanced management (remote testing and configuration) features can be used. This tutorial will outline the basic protocols and capabilities of AVB networks, describe how such a network can be used, and provide some simple demonstrations of network operation (including a live comparison with a legacy Ethernet network).