Precise time with nanosecond accuracy, synchronized to UTC, in the past required expensive cesium or rubidium clocks. With the advent of IEEE 1588 in combination with GPS and Imsys IM3240 MCU, synchronized time to nanosecond accuracy can now be a commodity for use in distributed systems. IEEE 1588, the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) entering its second revision in March, is now finding its way into a variety of applications. For each application there is a need for a timekeeper at large, the GrandMaster or GM for short. Various accurate time sources are used, and the IM3240 leverages the accuracy of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and its ability to provide precise time.
The IM3240 development kit, DK4-3240, is all the customer needs to develop an application. Connected to a GPS receiver with a Pulse Per Second (PPS) signal it will prototype a PTP GrandMaster in no time. All necessary hardware and software is included. The small form factor and design quality of the Imsys platform enables compact design and OEM prototyping.
The functionality of the system is delivered by the IM3240, a dedicated controller for time synchronized applications. Its outstanding features stem from the ability to analyze and act on gate level, in real-time. With the ability to sustain almost 20 Mbit/s of IP dataflow while running the IEEE 1588 protocol, the IM3240 controller offers the best performance/energy ratio in the industry. IM3240 dramatically reduces the cost and size of time synchronization. The IM3240 module, part of the development kit, embeds a complete software platform including IEEE 1588 protocol, real-time operating system, flash file system, TCP/IP stack and FTP and web server.
“With this development kit we can reduce the time for working prototype from months to days and the high level of integration and pre-tested equipment is the secret behind that. Customers can now instead concentrate on their own values and don’t need to bother about new protocols and their integration”, says Ola Andersson, Imsys President and CEO.