MPL AG Newsletter October 2020
MPL Switch Family now supporting Precision Time protocol (PTP1588)
The MPL Switch Family products are specifically designed to be used in tough network environments like operating temperatures of -40°C to +85°C,
or severe vibration and shock applications. They exceed by far the specifications of regular industrial switches with all kind of certifications
and approvals. Now, the MAGBES, µMAGBES and
MAXBES support the Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588). This new feature allows to "precisely"
synchronize distributed systems in time and safety-critical applications. This is done through the high-precision, fast synchronization of the
timers of all network participants in a distributed system. In contrast to software synchronization via the Internet, NTP (Network Time Protocol)
where the deviation is in the millisecond range.
With the latest Firmware release, the MPL Switch Family is now supporting the IEEE 802.1AS standard. The "Generalized Precision Time Protocol" gPTP
is a profile of the IEEE 1588 Precise Time Protocol. This allows to have time-aware end stations synchronized within a sub microsecond on a perimeter
of 7 hops. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hop_(networking) The gPTP profile works with
a peer-to-peer communication on layer 2 only. Since all information is transferred with the IEEE Bridge reserved MAC Address, these PDUs (Protocol Data
Units) are able to tunnel through ports which are blocked by the Spanning Tree Protocol. This allows that the BCMA (Best Clock Master Algorithm) can form
its own spanning tree with the shortest path to the Grand Master. The peer-to-peer communication will optimize the timing convergence in case of a failed
Grand Master. The gPTP requires that all nodes of the domain are time-aware.
This new feature open the use of the MPL switch Family in time critical networks. gPTP is the decisive factor to ensure stable performance and
continuous interoperability, especially with regard to the increasingly important Time-Sensitive Networking as in robotics, automotive, railways,
control and measurement. Whenever a time critical synchronization is a must, IEEE 1588 (PTP / gPTP) is required.
The PTP support is now a standard part of the Firmware (V0.5.5) and does not need to be ordered separately. Existing systems can be upgraded (talk to MPL).
If you need any further support or have questions if you can integrate the MPL switch in to your existing network please feel free to contact us.
Your MPL team
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