Communications

TimeProvider 4100 brings level of resiliency and security

18th March 2021
Alex Lynn

Microchip Technology has announced its TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster, which hopes to provide a new level of resiliency with the introduction of an innovative redundancy architecture in addition to support for a multiband Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver and enhanced security to ensure always-on precise timing and synchronisation.

For today’s critical infrastructure providers – 5G wireless networks, smart grids, data centers, cable and transportation services – a fundamental need exists for a redundant, resilient and secure precise timing and synchronisation solution.

Redundancy is key for infrastructure providers to ensure uninterrupted services. Infrastructure deployments previously relied on hardware redundancy to avoid service disruption despite costly modular architectures. Microchip’s TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster provides redundancy via software implementation, enabling flexible deployment and lower hardware costs without sacrificing ports.

In addition, the TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster introduces an increased level of resiliency by supporting a new GNSS multi-band, multi-constellation receiver to protect against time delay resulting from space weather, solar events and other disruptions that may impact critical infrastructure services. Multiband GNSS is particularly important for the highest levels of accuracy including Primary Reference Time Clock Class B (PRTC-B) (40 ns) and Enhanced Primary Reference Time Clock (ePRTC) (30 ns).

With a focus on security solutions across its technology portfolio, Microchip’s new TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster adds support for RADIUS and TACACS+ as well as new anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities.

“Resilient, redundant and secure precise timing and synchronisation solutions are necessary to mitigate security risks to critical infrastructure,” said Randy Brudzinski, Vice President and General Manager of Microchip's frequency and time business unit.

“This latest release brings an innovative software redundancy that enables always-on technology as well as support for multiband GNSS to eliminate ionospheric time error delays. It provides new key security, anti-jamming and anti-spoofing so critical infrastructure services can be accessed only by authorised, authenticated personnel.”

In addition, the TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster provides a super Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator (OCXO) option for enhanced holdover capabilities in case of GNSS disruption.

The TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster is a family of products with hardware expansion modules for legacy fan-out or Ethernet fan-out with 10 Gigabit Ethernet support. It can be configured in specific operation modes to act either as a gateway clock, a high-performance boundary clock or an ePRTC.

The TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster embeds additional Microchip technology including its OCXO, super OCXO, Rubidium atomic clock, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), Ethernet switch, synthesisers and cleaning oscillators.

The TimeProvider 4100 is part of Microchip’s virtual Primary Reference Time Clock (vPRTC) product portfolio, offering end-to-end precise time and synchronisation solutions. These include Cesium atomic clocks for source of frequency and time, the BlueSky GNSS Firewall for security, TimeProvider 4100 high-performance boundary clock and TimeProvider 4100 Gateway clocks, as well as the TimePictra software suite, which manages the end-to-end precise time architecture across all Microchip timing products.

Microchip’s TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster offers several options for software and hardware support including installation, sync audits, network engineering and 24/7 worldwide support.

The TimeProvider 4100 Release 2.2 grandmaster is available now for both new and already-deployed systems.

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