Microchip provides a new level of redundancy for timing solutions


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Microchip Technology announced its major program, TimeProvider 4100 version 2.2, which provides a new level of flexibility, redundancy, support for a multi-band Global Navigation Satellite (GNSS) receiver and improved security to ensure timing and synchronization in critical infrastructure applications. In an interview with EE Times, Eric Collard, Head of Emerging Products for Frequency and Time Systems at Microchip Technology, highlighted the features of the new solution and strong concerns about relying on GNSS (GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BEIDOU), and thus the need for more robust timing solutions. What happens if the GPS goes down for a few hours. Many countries have put in place clear policy directives about protecting critical infrastructure for security reasons and protecting resilience. So if something happens, the goal is to make the product really redundant, “There’s also the energy industry, aviation, railways, mobile, and defense, and all of these sectors are over-insuring the need for connectivity and networks,” said Collard. For today’s important infrastructure providers – 5G wireless networks, smart grids, data centers, cable and transport services – there is a vital need for a secure, resilient, redundant timing and synchronization solution.Vital infrastructure contains more stringent security requirements than any other sector due to the devastating consequences that can be Well-designed attacks can trigger community operations, prosperity, and well-being.Its redundancy ensures continuity of services and was previously introduced on a hardware basis.TimeProvider 4100 software provides Microchip 2.2 Place redundancy through software implementation, which leads to improved hardware costs. The Microchip Grandmaster Microchip chip highlights how the TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster provides an even higher level of flexibility by supporting a new multi-band and tower GNSS receiver to protect against time lags from space weather, solar events, ionospheric effects, and other disruptions that can impact critical infrastructure services . Multi-band GNSS is particularly important for the highest levels of accuracy, including Class B primary reference clock (PRTC-B) (40 ns) and enhanced primary reference time clock (ePRTC) (30 ns). The TimeProvider 4100 includes support for the latest ITU-T G.8275.1 and G.8275.2 1588 profiles, complemented by broadband ports for PTP, Network Time Protocol (NTP), SyncE, and E1 / T1 ports. Simultaneous synchronization and redundancy are required to mitigate infrastructure risks, enabling always-on technology as well as multi-band GNSS support to eliminate delays in ionospheric time errors. On the security side, the new solution adds anti-jamming and anti-spoofing as well as standard-based authentication so services can be accessed by authorized persons. The TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster includes additional Microchip technology including OCXO, Super OCXO, rubidium atomic clock, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), Ethernet switches, mixers, and cleaning oscillators. Figure 1: If GNSS is lost, oscillator options now include Super OCXO (Source: Microchip) Figure 2: TimeProvider 4100 (Source: Microchip) Redundancy in hardware has a lot of compromises: most of the old ports are lost, no fan outside the E1 / T1 , Limited ETH Ports, No ETH Port Slots, Redundancy Loses in Multi-Band GNSS, No Whole Device Duplication Only for One Duplicate Unit. “Time delay can greatly affect time accuracy. The multi-band algorithm mitigates the effects of ionospheric differences, and the TimeProvider 4100 2.2 provides multi-band support per unit, single-band default setting, and multi-band operation via software license without adding new hardware,” Collard said. He added that the device supports GPS L1 / L2C, Galileo E1 / E5b, GLONASS L1 / L2, BeiDou B1I / B2I, QZSS L1 / L2C and SBAS L1 with strong timing performance by mitigating ionosphere errors. Until recently, the main source of accurate time was the Global Positioning System (GPS) and regional constellations that make up GNSS. However, GNSS deployment can be costly for service providers, given the costs associated with upgrading to GNSS-compatible receivers and antennas and increasing endpoint condensation. As a result, telecom, cable and utility operators implementing vPRTC benefit from solutions in which dependence on GNSS is reduced or eliminated. The TimeProvider 4100’s multi-domain vPRTC architecture is a solution that provides high performance, redundancy and accuracy for 5nm distribution over regional and national networks. .


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