Communications

Napatech PTP Support Simplifies Time Synchronization

12th February 2013
ES Admin
Napatech today provided details on the upcoming release of onboard PTP support on Napatech 1G and 10G adapters. These highly anticipated products promise to make time synchronization implementation much easier for both Napatech OEM vendor customers and end-users.
“IEEE 1588 v2 or Precision Time Protocol provides a number of features that make life
easier for those who need to deploy time synchronization”, stated Henrik Brill Jensen, CEO,
Napatech. “First and foremost, it is based on Ethernet, so no special cabling is required. In PTP
networks, the choice of master is negotiated by the attached PTP aware devices. If this is not
available, the next best master is agreed. In addition, the PTP protocol has built-in compensation
for transmission latency. This all happens automatically without the need for configuration or
consideration by the user. It is as simple as plug-and-play.”

The Napatech four port 1 GbE NT4E2-4-PTP and two port 10 GbE NT20E2-PTP products can act
as both master and slave in a PTP network. Early releases of these products have taken part in
interoperability tests with major vendors of PTP time synchronization and switch equipment to
ensure that the performance meets the stringent nanosecond precision requirements of Napatech
customers.

“Over the past months, we have been testing our implementation to ensure that we meet the
requirements of the market”, continued Jensen. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the
results, which indicate that we can achieve the nanosecond precision our customers require. PTP
distribution is a valid alternative to local GPS time synchronization signals.”

The NT4E2-4-PTP and NT20E2-PTP provide a general purpose connector that can be used for
PTP or PPS time synchronization. The small form-factor connector supports an Ethernet RJ45
pluggable option for PTP and an SMA pluggable option for PPS signals. There is also the option
to have both RJ45 and SMA interfaces supported at the same time. With these options a variety of
time synchronization methods can be supported in a simple, yet reliable fashion.

“The advantage of onboard PTP is that you can plug right into the PTP network”, added Jensen.
“But, there can be situations where there are not enough IP addresses available on the PTP
network to allow direct connection. In these instances you need the flexibility of supporting
alternatives. One of these is the Napatech Time Sync Endpoint, which is a PTP slave
that can synchronize up to 3 Napatech time sync devices, such as Napatech network adapters.
The synchronization is based on Napatech Time Synchronization, which is similar to
PPS, but includes a 50 kHz signal and Time of Day information. By providing pluggable time sync
connector options, we ensure that we can flexibly adapt to the installation environment”.

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