IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol testing scheduled

Standard allows telecom, automation, other devices to increase timing accuracies and minimize network administration.

The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab will host a plugfest, performing interoperability testing of devices that comply with the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) standard. The Precision Time Protocol interoperability plugfest will take place September 27 through 29 at the lab's facility in Durham, NH. The testing plugfest will be held in association with the 2010 International IEEE Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization for Measurement, Control and Communication. That event will immediately follow the plugfest, September 29 through October 1 in nearby Portsmouth, NH.

The IEEE 1588 PTP standard was originally published in 2002 and revised in 2008. It allows a number of industries including telecommunications, industrial automation, power transmission, test and measurement and consumer electronics to increasing timing accuracies, minimize network administration and resources, and adapt to low-cost and low-end devices. The standard was developed in response to the use of Ethernet becoming widespread in networked measurement and control systems, prompting the need for an alternative to existing protocols that could increse the accuracy of clock synchronization while minimizing the cost of implementation.

In May the independent lab launched the UNH-IOL IEEE 1588 Consortium; the group is still accepting founding companies. Consortium members have access to a comprehensive test bed that supports the entire spectrum of profiles under the IEEE 1588-2008 standard.

Bill Seitz, a director with datacom technology supplier and plugfest participant Ixxat, has praise for the event. "The lab's plugfest combines their staff's extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of Ethernet and networking technologies, with a vendor-neutral approach," Seitz says. "It's one of the most efficient ways to test product interoperability and get early insights into any adjustments we could make to our products."

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