Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Firmware Update For Time Synchronization Of Critical Infrastructure

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Incorporates IEEE 1588 standard profiles to fulfill synchronization requirements for power and 5G private networks.

Critical infrastructure such as public utilities, transportation, and mobile networks depend on precise time synchronization. The primary time source is often national timing systems like GPS, which are vulnerable to jamming and spoofing. To address this, Microchip Technology introduces version 2.4 of the TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster firmware, featuring an embedded BlueSky firewall to detect and validate GNSS signals before use.

The TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 includes IEEE 1588 power profiles, enabling gateway capabilities between PTP telecom and power profiles. Utility companies can connect communication and substation networks, supporting the convergence of IT and OT networks as modernization continues. Emerging private networks in factories, stadiums, and mines can now synchronize using the TimeProvider 4100 series v2.4 with the Time Sensitive Network (TSN) profile 802.1.AS. This function provides accurate, autonomous time systems for IoT device coordination in private networks.

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Operators need grandmasters that can scale to support various client numbers.It serves up to 2,000 Precise Time Protocol (PTP) clients, allowing the synchronization of many base stations with precise time, minimizing the need for multiple grandmasters. The key characteristics include:

  • Legacy communication signal deployments require modernization to a modular architecture.
  • The modernization includes a new operation mode.
  • This new mode filters legacy input signals.
  • It serves as a Synchronization Supply Unit (SSU).
  • Enables large SSU environments to migrate to a TimeProvider server architecture.
  • Supports both legacy and modern synchronization signals.

Resiliency in synchronization solutions is vital for critical infrastructures to prevent service degradation or loss.It offers software redundancy, allowing two grandmasters to operate in Active/Standby or Active/Active modes, enhancing flexibility and reliability. Integrated with the TimePictra Synchronization Management System, it offers users comprehensive synchronization operation and health monitoring. Its  grandmaster is now available for purchase. 

“Security is crucial for operators; ensuring a valid and trusted time reference is essential,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president of Microchip’s frequency and time systems business unit. “The TimeProvider 4100 grandmaster with BlueSky GPS firewall provides an effective solution against spoofing, jamming, and other threats to GNSS signal validity.”

Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Gaur
Akanksha Sondhi Gaur is a journalist at EFY. She has a German patent and brings a robust blend of 7 years of industrial & academic prowess to the table. Passionate about electronics, she has penned numerous research papers showcasing her expertise and keen insight.

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