IEEE™ 1588 PTP grandmaster clock for 4G and 5G

November 03, 2017 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Microsemi Corporation has launched its TimeProvider 4100, a highly flexible IEEE™ 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) grandmaster clock designed to scale from the edge to the aggregation layers of both mobile infrastructure and access networks.

The TimeProvider 4100 is a gateway clock, a new class of synchronization product which accepts multiple inputs from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE), 1588 PTP and E1/T1 digital transmission links, and distributes timing flows to multiple endpoints such as base stations. A gateway clock benefits from multiple layers of protection leveraging other assets in the core of the network. TimeProvider 4100 is a best-in-class 1588 grandmaster complemented by extensive port fan-out for PTP, Network Time Protocol (NTP), SyncE and legacy building integrated timing supplies (BITS). With multiple ports for current, legacy and future networks which can be connected to multiple base stations for 4G and 5G deployments, the device offers customers a cost-effective solution that can be easily adapted for a wide variety of use cases.

Mobile operators face tough requirements to drastically increase mobile bandwidth while efficiently leveraging the available spectrum. Cellular networks using only frequency synchronization waste significant spectrum, whereas newer deployments require phase synchronization for efficient spectrum usage and interference mitigation in increasingly densified networks. Phase synchronization is imperative for next-generation service deployment. To that end, operators need timing solutions capable of supporting legacy infrastructure and evolving network needs. The TimeProvider 4100 is engineered to provide phase to today's 4G, LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) deployments, as well as tomorrow's cRAN evolutions and 5G networks.

Primarily targeting the mobile market, operators and data centers for mobile operator environments, over time the TimeProvider 4100's platform will also serve mobile network needs associated with machine-to-machine (M2M), internet of things (IoT) and autonomous vehicle applications. The device's platform can be expanded through an internal module, providing customer savings such as power and rack space, and enables great scalability through sub-tenancy mechanisms. TimeProvider 4100 also features port fan-out which can be flexibly used for PTP, NTP, E1/T1, 1 pulse per second (PPS), time of day (ToD) and 10 MHz at the aggregation layer.

"With our ongoing commitment to delivering system products, Microsemi has demonstrated our leadership in the IEEE 1588 grandmaster market with more than 400 operator deployments worldwide," said Eric Colard, director of product line management for Microsemi. "We are pleased to leverage this expertise to deliver the TimeProvider 4100. With eight Ethernet ports and four BITS E1/T1 ports in the base unit, TimeProvider 4100 provides a very feature-rich gateway clock device."