IEEE 1588 PTP 

Solutions with IEEE 1588 PTP for Network Switches, Routers, and Infrastructures

IEEE 1588 PTP-based network switches, routers, cloud networks, and data centre infrastructures are critical for time synchronisation across connected devices. The Precision Time Protocol (PTP) ensures packet-based two-way communication with sub-microsecond accuracy over Ethernet or IP networks.

We enable the IEEE 1588 PTP support in software and hardware for diverse telecommunication devices. With advanced timestamping capabilities, our custom solutions align the clocks of various network elements with extremely low latency.

How Does It Work?

IEEE 1588 functions by exchanging two-way timing messages between the master and slave clocks. In these messages, the slave receives information about the time the master is on. The delay is easily determined in this process. Subsequently, the protocol estimates the one-way message delay by halving the round-trip delay.

How does IEEE 1588 work

Benefits of IEEE 1588 Synchronisation Protocol

IEEE 1588 synchronisation protocol is essential for coordinating and aligning various components or processes within a system. It provides real-time applications with the following information:

  • Precise time-of-day (ToD) information
  • Time-stamped inputs
  • Scheduled and synchronised outputs

This protocol is the sole standardised terrestrial mechanism for delivering phase/time with the highest accuracy via a packet-based network. Its application areas include mobile networks, industrial process control, audio/video networks, smart energy distribution, transportation, automotive, and IIoT.

Supported Applications

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PTP synchronisation profiles, introduced in IEEE 1588-2008, facilitate the adoption of PTP by various standards bodies (e.g. ITU-T, IETF, SMPTE, AES, IEC, Avnu, AUTOSAR, LXI, AIA) for specific applications such as financial/enterprise, professional broadcast, power industry, and test and measurement.

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Our engineers enable support of the following profiles:

  • IEEE Std 1588-2019 for generic applications

  • G8275.1, G.8265.1 for telecom industry

  • IEEE Std 802.1AS for audio/video, industrial automation, and automotive applications

How Promwad Adopts This Technology

To implement the IEEE 1588v2 PTP functionality, we utilise Microchip SparX-5i Ethernet switches enhanced with Microchip 1588v2 PHYs and 10G PHYs.

The model range we employ:

  • Ethernet switches: VSC7546TSN, VSC7549TSN, VSC7552TSN, VSC7556TSN, VSC7558TSN
  • PHYs/10G PHYs: VSC8572, VSC8574
Microchip VSC7549TSN and VSC8572

Software Development

IEEE 1588v2 PTP is integrated as an application-level module within the IStaX SDKs. It operates on Microchip Ethernet switch hardware and is supported by a rewriter, egress port modules, and timing-aware PHYs.

Software development IEEE 1588

The PTP implementation encompasses the following features:

  • Ordinary and boundary clocks employing basic delay and peer-to-peer mechanisms

  • Peer-to-peer/end-to-end transparent clock

  • Local clock and servo

  • Best Master Clock (BMC) algorithm

By default, the protocol operates over Ethernet PTP using Ethernet multicast. It is possible to configure PTP over IPv4 multicast or unicast.

Boundary clocks support both multicast and unicast setups. In IPv4 unicast mode, the slave part can be configured with up to five master IP addresses and request announcement messages from all. The slave clock utilises the BMC algorithm to designate one as the master and get sync messages from it.
The design may incorporate an OCXO to provide IEEE 1588 slave functions and timing holdover capability. Timing failover operation can be either revertive or non-revertive.
Additionally, we provide IT security audit services to assess network infrastructures comprehensively. This includes identifying potential vulnerabilities, implementing safety measures, and ensuring compliance with industry standards. 

Do you want to implement IEEE 1588 functionality for your project?

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What are the key areas of implementation for PTP?


PTP is implemented in the hardware and software of Ethernet switches, routers, audio/video equipment, automotive systems, and various network management solutions.

How does IEEE 1588 PTP work?


The protocol determines the server and client operating modes, as well as the master and slave parts synchronisation messages. The slave synchronises with the master, which is the source of time. A master synchronised to a time reference, such as GPS or CDMA, is called a grandmaster.

The protocol includes:
  • Master sync messages
  • Master delay response messages
  • Slave delay request messages

The BMC technique enables several masters to agree upon the best clock for the network in addition to the messages.

At least one master and one slave are needed for synchronisation via LAN. A single master can synchronise with several slaves. The slaves use synchronisation messages from the masters to adjust their local ones. All of them record exact timestamps.