Deterministic Network Synchronization for Windows Real-Time Embedded Systems

By Ardence, a Citrix Company

Ardence, the leader in real-time performance for Windows embedded platforms, announces the availability of a compatible IEEE 1588 stack for RTX 8.1, Ardence’s latest release of it real time extension for Windows. Developed by our channel Partner, Real-Time Systems GmbH (RTS), the IEEE 1588 stack is a full Master and Slave implementation, allowing highly-accurate synchronization of distributed real-time clocks over standard Ethernet connections. A maximum jitter of 15 microseconds may be achieved using standard network interface cards, while jitter may reduced to the nanosecond range with hardware support.

The RTS IEEE 1588 Master and Slave software stack incorporates the full specification and functionality of the Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and Control Systems (PTP). Through PTP, multiple devices are automatically synchronized with the most accurate clock found in a packet-based network – typically Ethernet. The RTS protocol stack automatically determines the most accurate clock, labeled as the Grand Master Clock. During operation and after initial synchronization, the PTP real-time clocks are constantly adjusted by exchanging timing messages. The RTS implementation uses statistical techniques to further reduce residual fluctuations. Because the RTS protocol stack supports the PTP hot-pluggable functionality requirement, devices may join or leave the network at any time.

All servo algorithms, regulators, filters, PTP-Clock based on hardware timer and direct timer access are included. The software is easy to install, has a small footprint, and requires minimal resources of host components or networks. Third party tools are also available to monitor, tune and analyze a PTP networks at no cost.

PTP for RTX provides deterministic performance among networked devices. This is useful in automated test environments, such as telecom network testing and simulation, or in an embedded device network for large industrial process control, hardware in the loop testing and simulation applications where timing is critical. A new standard, LXI, was recently adopted for test and measurement. (http://www.lxistandard.org). The successor of GPIB, LXI is based on Ethernet IEEE 1588, used in high-class test and measurement devices. LXI enables data collected in distributed applications to later be brought in correlation via the precise time synchronization provided by IEEE 1588. This capability could also be helpful in the simulators or even log-files, where exact time synchronization can help locate errors.

More information about this RTX solution is available from Ardence, a Citrix company, or via Real-Time Systems, GmbH


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