Next-generation Industrial Automation Systems are increasingly being architected around distributed, high-performance networks that blend low-messaging latencies, flexible topologies, and integrated timing. Several so-called Industrial Ethernet frameworks are emerging based on standard Ethernet communications tightly coupled with IEEE 1588v2 (also known as IEEE 1588-2008) distributed synchronization. Micrel’s EtherSynch product family provides systems designers with the most highly integrated IEEE 1588v2 network attachment device available, significantly reducing the physical form factor, power consumption, as well as overall BOM costs. This paper examines the implications of integrating Ethernet and IEEE 1588v2 for Industrial Automation, the Micrel’s EtherSynch product architecture and benefits for Industrial Ethernet networks.