The additions provide solutions to one of the biggest 5G network deployment challenges of synchronising higher volumes of more densely packed base stations. Another challenge is keeping services operating through Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) lapses due to vulnerabilities such as jamming, spoofing or loss of signal.
The TimeProvider release adds 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) support, a Boundary Clock operation mode that lowers operational costs, and other enhancements to improve how timing flows are distributed from multiple sources to a network’s base stations and other endpoints. TimeProvider 4100 2.0 with its 10 GE expansion module has been selected by SK Telecom in Korea for its world-leading delivery of 5G services in the Seoul metropolitan area and Chungcheong province.
Extending the TimeProvider 4100’s Gateway Clock operation mode with Microchip’s High-Performance Boundary Clock (HP-BC) operation mode enables it to support the latest high-accuracy ITU-T Class C & D boundary clock standards. These standards dictate extremely accurate time transfer over optical networks so operators can use Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology rather than dedicated fibre. Release 2.0 accommodates escalating bandwidth requirements of next-generation network devices through an optional expansion module that provides 10 GE interfaces. Expanded monitoring functions enable service providers to understand how time and phase performance is affected by network elements. PTP client capacity has been increased to 790 to provide the scalability that is critical for deployments in mobile network aggregation layers and new DOCSIS 3.1 Remote-PHY cable architectures.
For service providers that need to deploy more compact PTP 1588 v2 Grandmasters to fewer base stations closer to the network’s edge, Microchip is also introducing Release 3.0 to its Integrated GNSS Master (IGM) family. IGM 3.0 combines an IEEE-1588v2 PTP Grandmaster with a GNSS receiver and antenna to simplify indoor or outdoor installations.