Symmetricom has announced its XLi IEEE 1588 Grandmaster Clock with GPS (Global Positioning System) reference. IEEE 1588 is a new protocol that enables very accurate synchronization over Ethernet LANs and for the first time, offers users the ability to synchronize clocks within better than one hundred nanoseconds accuracy, with only a network connection.
Symmetricom's first deployment of the IEEE 1588 protocol is in its versatile XLi GPS Time and Frequency System.
"Symmetricom is the first to offer an IEEE 1588 based solution for time and frequency synchronization applications, and in doing so, will provide customer guidance in 1588 acceptance and verification testing, adoption and deployments during the infancy of this technology," commented Paul Skoog, product marketing manager at Symmetricom.
"The coupling of the IEEE 1588 protocol with hardware time stamping is a breakthrough technology that will reshape synchronization applications going forward, and is the next-generation protocol in time transfer and synchronization."
IEEE 1588 enables sub-microsecond time-of-day synchronization between clocks over standard Ethernet LAN infrastructure. Previously 1 to 10 microsecond time of day synchronization was the de facto standard using IRIG-B with dedicated coaxial cabling and 1 to 10 milliseconds was the typical synchronization accuracy using Ethernet and the Network Time Protocol (NTP).
High accuracy time distributed over standard Ethernet LAN infrastructure offers compelling benefits in the areas of cable infrastructure costs savings
(i. e. no parallel timing and data networks); improved accuracy for distributed measurements and processes; improved control system techniques; and leveraging the innovation/investment wave of network centric technology and solutions.
As an increasing number of applications integrate Ethernet and the benefits of speed, flexibility and connectivity are exploited, IEEE 1588 is expected to be adopted as an enabling technology across numerous applications because it will change the way problems are solved.
The standard is already being deployed in applications in industrial automation, turbine control systems and submarine sonar systems. As this trend continues and performance requirements become more stringent, demand for more precise timing and synchronization via Ethernet is also expected to increase.
The Boeing Company is the first customer to deploy the XLi IEEE 1588 Grandmaster clock. It will be implemented in the new 787 network based flight test data system. Boeing chose the XLi due to its modularity and Symmetricom's commitment to Boeing to deliver IEEE 1588 functionality.
"The XLi IEEE 1588 Grandmaster Clock from Symmetricom, with its ultra-precise time and frequency synchronization capabilities over local area networks (LANs), is a welcome addition to data acquisition networks," stated Sunderraju Ramachandran, program manager at Frost and Sullivan, a leading market research company. "With an initial introduction to the IEEE 1588 technology community, it should be well received by the test & measurement, military, aerospace, industrial automation and networked sensor markets."
Symmetricom's new XLi IEEE 1588 Grandmaster clock was displayed at the 2005 IEEE 1588 Conference sponsored by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Instrumentation and Measurement Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on October 10-12, 2005 in Winterthur, Switzerland.