High-Performance Precision Timing For Enhanced 5G Protection

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  • Includes redundant precise time distribution architecture for phase protection
  • Works even when GNSS is offline or jammed

To help ensure 5G mobile providers, cable operators and utility providers, phase delivery, protection and synchronization even when the Global Navigation  Satellite System (GNSS) is offline or jammed, Microchip Technology has released software version 2.1 for its TimeProvider 4100 precision timing grandmaster.

TimeProvider 4100 is a 1588 grandmaster that can support the latest ITU-T G.8275.1 and G.8275.2 1588 phase profiles, complemented by extensive port fan-out for PTP, Network Time Protocol (NTP), SyncE, and E1/T1.

Software version 2.1 is an upgrade of earlier versions. It includes key software enhancements that provide a virtual Primary Reference Time Clock (vPRTC). Virtual PRTC provides the ability to design a redundant precise time distribution architecture for phase protection over an optical network.

Until recently the main source of precise time had been the Global Positioning System (GPS) and regional constellations that comprise the GNSS. Deployment of GNSS requires upgrading the GNSS-capable receivers and antennae and increasing the endpoints, which can turn out to be costly for service providers. As a result, telecom, cable and utility operators deploying vPRTC benefit from solutions where GNSS dependency is reduced or eliminated.

Key features of the new vPRTC

  • Leverages the existing optical network, avoiding high-cost dark fibre expenses
  • Uses a dedicated lambda to transport time precisely and securely
  • Provides a high-performance, redundant source of time through enhanced PRTC (ITU-T G.8272.1)
  • Allows bidirectional, precise time flow (east and west)
  • Links together high-precision, multi-domain, high-performance boundary clocks that meet today’s standards (T-BC Class D, as defined by ITU-T G.8273.2)

Microchip’s vPRTC is a high-performance, multi-domain architecture and is a cost-effective solution. It also provides a redundant, sub-5 nanosecond distribution of precise time over regional and national networks.

Additionally, Version 2.1 introduces Network Time Protocol daemon (NTPd) with Message Digest (MD5) security algorithm.

TimeProvider 4100 2.1 meets PRTC-B performance standards (per ITU-T G.8272) and supports 1G and 10G, NTP and PTP in a single form-factor system. TimeProvider 4100 2.1 is available now for both new and currently deployed systems.


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