New enhanced primary reference time clock to protect against GNSS vulnerabilities
Design & Manufacture
Microsemi has announced the availability of its TimeSource Enhanced Primary Reference Time Clock (TimeSource Enhanced PRTC), a new system enabling telecommunications and mobile operators to meet the new G.8272.1 recommendation from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), while also protecting against serious threats associated with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) vulnerabilities.
The new TimeSource Enhanced PRTC ‘generates time’ by producing its own independent time scale aligned with GNSS, while its phase, time and frequency signal outputs remain autonomous. This provides customers within the communications, power, public safety, data center and government network markets with a secure infrastructure, reducing dependency on GNSS and enabling network operators to retake control of the timing source used for network synchronization. The new system is also designed to meet the stringent new ITU-T Recommendation G.8272.1, which requires accuracy to within 30 nanoseconds or better when verified against a time standard such as UTC.
“Worldwide telecommunications, power utilities and other infrastructure customers are in critical need of protection against GNSS vulnerability, and Microsemi’s new TimeSource Enhanced PRTC provides a powerful, high performance solution to address this need,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president and business unit manager of Microsemi’s Frequency and Time division. “In addition, maintaining less than 30ns performance is important to mobile operators who require a high level of accuracy to support LTE/4G and the upcoming deployment of 5G.”
Massive deployment of GNSS as a timing source for synchronizing telecommunications networks (both wired and wireless) has created security risks to a point where governments, major telecommunications/mobile operators and enterprises are now urgently looking to protect their networks against both regional GNSS issues as well as the potential of a global GNSS outage. The company’s PRTC works with their cesium clocks to ensure time is generated in an autonomous manner. Specifically, the PRTC’s “source of time” aligns accurately with GNSS time without being dependent upon it—avoiding any vulnerability to threats caused by jamming and spoofing.