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Clock Distribution and Synchronization over Ethernet:

IEEE1588v2 and SyncE

September 2009

The Current Segregated Network Environment


Carriers / network providers offer two types of services to subscribers
Data services with variable bandwidth requirements e.g. Internet, network storage (NFS), networked applications TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) services with fixed / guaranteed bandwidth e.g. Voice transport, real-time applications, cellular services

Network transport method depends on types of services delivered


Packet Switched Networks (Ethernet) for Data services Circuit Switched Networks (SONET/SDH) for TDM services

The Carrier Challenge


Subscribers want access to newer services
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Cellular internet and file sharing Video on Demand (VOD) Guaranteed Committed Information Rate (CIR) for Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

The challenge for carriers: provide traditional and newer services


Using existing, deployed networks; Quickly and affordably with the development of Next-generation Networks (NGNs); and While guaranteeing and maintaining ROI

Ethernet already provides scalability and low migration cost, but requires enhancements to support carrier grade transport
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The Need for Synchronization over Ethernet


Ethernet is rapidly taking over legacy technologies within the carrier infrastructure (e.g. TDM, ATM and SONET / SDH) where synchronization and clock distribution are an integrated part of the technology Ethernet, originally designed as a best-effort data delivery technology, is now being equipped with synchronization and clock distribution features
Allows Ethernet to provide the same level of quality and reliability as legacy technologies for use in carrier class applications

Comparison of Network Timing Protocols


The following table compares carrier grade SONET/SDH with four different protocols that incorporate network timing over Ethernet:
Protocol SONET/SDH Time Support Frequency Accuracy < ns resolution < ns resolution < ns resolution ~ us resolution Variable Network SONET/SDH Ethernet Ethernet Limitations Limited support for data applications Not packet switched Bandwidth limited Timing support only within domain Clock traceability to primary reference clock Clock source requirements Next version should propose a frequency standard Limited accuracy Software overhead Slow Complex

Frequency Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) IEEE1588v2 (Precision Time Protocol) NTP Adaptive Time of Day (ToD), and possibly frequency Time of Day (ToD) Frequency

Ethernet Ethernet

Accuracy not guaranteed or defined

Depends on network loading/ congestion

Only SyncE and IEEE1588v2 provide carrier grade accuracy


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Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE)


Extends SONET/SDH Layer 1 timing concepts to Ethernet networks
Clock distribution method similar to SONET/SDH Clock timing requirement adapted from SONET/SDH specification Supports Clock Failover/Holdover through Synchronization Status Message (SSM) byte messaging Failover: If primary node fails, then secondary node is backup Holdover: Switch over to Local Reference Clock if primary and secondary nodes fail

Guarantees precise frequency resolution All nodes must have a clock source traceable to a Primary Reference Clock (PRC)
Clock source can be derived from incoming data OR an independent clock source An external PLL can be used for frequency correction on each local node

Synchronous Ethernet Timing Overview

Reference Clock

PLL

Ethernet PHY

Data Clock

Ethernet PHY

PLL

Recovered Clock

Synchronization is based on a primary reference clock (PRC) injected at the transmitter end Clock timing is distributed by way of downstream node clock recovery from the transmitted data Use of the PLL for clock recovery helps reduce jitter propagation in noisy network environments
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IEEE1588 (Precision Time Protocol)


Unlike SyncE, IEEE1588 provides packet-based time delivery on packet switched networks (Layer 2)
Packet-based time stamping / delivery Packet handshake protocol to precisely adjust Time of Day (ToD) per node Defines network clock types, architectures

IEEE1588v1
Developed for and widely adopted within Industrial Automation applications Not accurate enough / too slow / excessive bandwidth for Telecom applications

IEEE1588v2
Improves timing accuracy to within nanoseconds of resolution Tighter clock source requirements and more flexible clocking methods Upgraded architecture more suitable for Telecom applications Adjustable messaging frequency option to reduce bandwidth
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IEEE1588 Timing Overview


In IEEE1588, Time of Day (ToD) is distributed in frames as indicated in the figure By sending out time-stamped frames, delay and offset can be calculated as follows:
t2 - t1 = Delay + Offset t4 - t3 = Delay Offset Delay = (t2 t1 + t4 t3) / 2 Offset = (t2 t1 t4 + t3) / 2

IEEE1588 can be used together with SyncE to ensure high quality transport of timing information across the network
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