What is IEEE 1588?

What is the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) IEEE 1588?

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The IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP) is an essential networking technology used to synchronize clocks throughout time-sensitive networks. Originally developed in 2002, the protocol’s next iteration – IEEE 1588-2008, also known as IEEE 1588v2 – is the most widely used version today.  IEEE 1588 PTP continues to evolve, and an enhanced protocol version, IEEE 1588-2019, includes backward-compatible improvements to IEEE 1588v2.

IEEE 1588 provides a cost-effective alternative to using GPS clocks on endpoint devices, which may not have easy access to radios or satellite signals. A packet-based, bidirectional communications protocol, IEEE 1588 precisely synchronizes distributed clocks in Ethernet and IP-based networks with nanosecond accuracy. The protocol is widely used for timing synchronization in 5G mobile networks, data centers, industrial process control, audio-video networks, smart energy distribution, industrial IoT networking, and time-sensitive services such as autonomous driving and financial trading.

Implementing the IEEE 1588 protocol in real-time networking applications can be a complex task, especially for developers who are not immersed in the intricacies and technical nuances of precision timing technology. Fortunately, time-sensitive networking just got a lot easier and more resilient.

The new IEEE 1588 time synchronization solution is ideal for deployments operating under harsh environmental stresses, such as 5G infrastructure, data centers and next-generation automotive systems. Accurate, reliable time synchronization underpins the stable operations of time-sensitive networks.

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