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Time synchronization is of prime importance in distributed industrial control systems and in automotive networks. The timestamps of events in a distributed control system should match with considerable accuracy to be able to correlate them together or for the control system to operate properly. Various time synchronization protocols are used on different networks which allow synchronization up to various accuracies. Precision Time Protocol or PTP or IEEE1588 is one such protocol that allows synchronization of an order of 1us with the master (most accurate) clock in the network. On local area Ethernet networks, it is implemented in various ways most often in software. This method is inherently less accurate for timestamping which results in a reduction in synchronization accuracy. Implementing a time stamp unit in hardware that generates time stamps as soon as the PTP packet arrives from the network allows for more accurate time stamps and hence, better synchronization. The precision time protocol IP designed at Faststream Technologies implements the PTP on Ethernet networks and sends the packet to the MAC. A precise time stamping unit instantiated in the IP captures the time stamp as soon as the packet is received and decoded. The values of offset and delay required to correct the local slave clock are generated by the IP.


Salient Features:


  • AXI4-Lite standard user interface. Connects as a 32-bit slave on the AXI interface
  • Identifies PTP packets like sync, follow-up, and delay-response and sends delay-request packets
  • PPS clock output
  • Offset and drift adjustable clock internally used


Block diagram:

Precision time protocol

Precision Time Protocol IP