1.1. Altera 1588 System Level Overview
IEEE 1588v2 is a standard that defines a Precision Time Protocol (PTP) used in packet networking to precisely synchronize the real Time-of-Day (ToD) clocks and frequency sources in a distributed system to a master ToD clock, which is synchronized to a global clock source. Traditionally, such synchronization has been achieved in TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) networks due to their control on timing with their precise frequency and clocking hierarchy. However, with the advent of 1588v2, synchronization to nanosecond precision has become a possibility within packet networks, enabling low-cost phase and frequency synchronization in applications such as wireless, mobile backhaul, wireline and industrial instrumentation potentially replacing the higher cost of TDM networks.
The following diagram illustrates the 1588 system solution using Altera developed Ethernet driver and PTP stack running on top of Altera SoC, Ethernet MAC and transceiver with 1588 capability IPs. The software stack also provides accessibility to control and status registers for configuration using Ethtool and accessibility to the MAC statistic counters to observe the system performance using iperf utility.
Though the complete solution can be implemented in software, the hardware assisted the system to achieve the high accuracy needed in some applications such as mobile backhaul. All Altera Ethernet MAC and PHY 1588 hardware solution supports a static error of +/- 3ns for throughputs of 10Gbps with random error of +/- 1ns from the PHY.
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