QNgine-S PTP Solution

Qulsar’s QNgine-S is a leading-edge IEEE 1588-2008 PTP based time recovery solution targeted at end-node applications such as LTE and 5G small cells which require high precision timing. The Precision Time Protocol (PTP) described in the IEEE 1588 standard was originally conceived as an application layer protocol to deliver better accuracy than other synchronization solutions, such as the well–known Network Time Protocol (NTP).

In the real world traffic, multiple sources of errors introduce uncertainty and unpredictability into time distributed over packet networks.  Specifically, there are three major factors that introduce errors - unpredictability in time-stamping (owing to operating system and higher layer software functions), network asymmetry and network packet delay variation (PDV).  One of the key drivers behind the development of PTP as an alternative to NTP was to mitigate these sources of error. The timestamping of packets is done in hardware as close to the ingress and egress points of a system (switch / bridge / small cell or endpoint) as possible. Hardware timestamping is more accurate and therefore provides manifold improvement over software time-stamping implementations (as in NTP). In addition to improved timestamping, a high end, world-class clock servo algorithm is a significant contributor to higher precision since it filters out the effects of other network traffic on timing packets. The clock servo algorithm is used to adjust the frequency and phase of the slave clock with the goal of keeping the offset between the master and slave clock to a level which meets the criteria of the target application. Improving the stability of oscillator also helps in keeping frequency and time error low.

The QNgine-S implements leading edge PTP performance in cost-sensitive solutions by running directly on existing system-on-a-chip (SoC) implementations without requiring custom hardware. Support is currently available for the Intel (Mindspeed) Transcede T2k and T3k SOCs, which form the heart of many small cell solutions.

The QNgine-S enables small cell developers to achieve PTP performance far superior to “free” PTP software solutions, without imposing any hardware upgrade requirements for the core SoC or reference platform.

To learn more about QNgine-S, including licensing options and support for other platforms, or if you are interested in evaluating the solution yourself, please email sales@qulsar.com.

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