A Study on Clock Sources Used in High-speed Networking Equipment

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Dr. Varga Pál
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

Time has a special importance in communications between devices. When timing is loose between two communicating devices, their information exchange becomes slow; or in the worst case scenario: fail completely. During the monitoring of such two-way communication, the time-stamping of the messages at their sources may be inaccurate, due to the synchronization problems of the local clocks. It is a fair requirement for reliable network management systems to be able to properly distinguish messages based on their arrival times, otherwise it is impossible to sort messages that are captured at far-away sites. There are certain tasks that require precise time-stamping: monitoring of high-speed networks; time-critical functions of network nodes, and so on. These tasks require the knowledge of the current time with high precision. One solution is to minimize the error of the local clock in comparison with a remote, highly precise clock - this can be done by using specialized protocols, such as PTPv2, Precision Time Protocol version 2. Another solution can be the usage of a high-precision clock, locally.


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