This standard defines a protocol enabling precise synchronization of clocks in measurement and control systems implemented with technologies such as network communication, local computing, and distributed objects. The protocol is applicable to systems communicating by local area networks supporting multicast messaging including, but not limited to, Ethernet. The protocol enables heterogeneous systems that include clocks of various inherent precision, resolution, and stability to synchronize to a grandmaster clock. The protocol supports system-wide synchronization accuracy in the sub-microsecond range with minimal
network and local clock computing resources. The default behavior of the protocol allows simple systems
to be installed and operated without requiring the administrative attention of users. The standard includes
mappings to User Datagram Protocol (UDP)/Internet Protocol (IP), DeviceNet, and a layer-2 Ethernet
implementation. It includes formal mechanisms for message extensions, higher sampling rates, correction
for asymmetry, a clock type to reduce error accumulation in large topologies, and specifications on how to
incorporate the resulting additional data into the synchronization protocol. The standard permits
synchronization accuracies better than 1 ns. The protocol has features to address applications where
redundancy and security are a requirement. The standard defines conformance and management capability.
There is provision to support unicast as well as multicast messaging. The standard includes an annex on
recommended practices. Annexes defining communication-medium-specific implementation details for
additional network implementations are expected to be provided in future versions of this standard.
Measurement and control applications are increasingly employing distributed system technologies such as network communication, local computing, and distributed objects. Many of these applications will be enhanced by having an accurate system-wide sense of time achieved by having local clocks in each sensor, actuator, or other system device. Without a standardized protocol for synchronizing these clocks, it is unlikely that the benefits will be realized in the multivendor system component market. Existing protocols for clock synchronization are not optimum for these applications. For example, the Network Time Protocol
(NTP) targets large distributed computing systems with millisecond synchronization requirements. The
protocol in this standard specifically addresses the needs of measurement and control and operational
systems in the fields of test and measurement, industrial automation, military systems, manufacturing
systems, power utility systems, and certain telecommunications applications. These applications need:
¿¿¿ Spatially localized systems with options for larger systems
¿¿¿ Microsecond to sub-microsecond accuracy
¿¿¿ Administration-free operation
¿¿¿ Applicability for both high-end devices and low-cost, low-end devices
¿¿¿ Provisions for the management of redundant and fault-tolerant systems
Several different application areas such as industrial automation, telecommunication, semiconductor
manufacturing, military systems, and utility power generation have emerged that require the standard to be
Revision Standard - Active.
A protocol is provided in this standard that enables precise synchronization of clocks in measurement and control systems implemented with technologies such as network communication, local computing, and distributed objects. The protocol is applicable to systems communicating via packet networks. Heterogeneous systems are enabled that include clocks of various inherent precision, resolution, and stability to synchronize. System-wide synchronization accuracy and precision in the sub-microsecond range are supported with minimal network and local clock computing resources. Simple systems are installed and operated without requiring the management attention of users because the default behavior of the protocol allows for it.