Chronos Partner, Microsemi Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP), has enabled Danish cable TV and internet provider, Stofa A/S, to successfully complete the first trial in Europe deploying a new type of architecture—Remote PHY (R-PHY)—based upon the DOCSIS® 3.1 standard in Europe. Using Microsemi’s TimeProvider 4100, a highly flexible IEEE™ 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) grandmaster clock, to meet the stringent PTP sync requirements of the new Remote PHY architecture, Stofa thoroughly tested the device to ensure suitability for the cable industry’s deployments.
R-PHY technology enables more efficient use of the network media, enabling service speeds of up to 1Gbps. DOCSIS 3.1 specifies stringent synchronisation requirements based on the IEEE™ 1588 v2 standard, whereby the cable modem termination system (CMTS) and the R-PHY devices act as IEEE-1588 v2 slaves with 1 millisecond phase alignment enabled via a IEEE-1588 v2 grandmaster provided by Microsemi.
Microsemi’s TimeProvider 4100 provides the Ethernet fan-out necessary for these deployments with eight Ethernet ports in its base unit. TimeProvider 4100 has been designed to support the latest IEEE-1588 v2 profiles for frequency and phase, and features scalability to support a high number of PTP slaves as required by deployment of advanced cable infrastructures based on the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard.
“After more than 10 years of positive experience leveraging Microsemi’s TimeProvider technology, we were pleased at the new TimeProvider 4100’s ease of management in comparison to competing solutions during our extensive field trial,” said Uffe Callesen, technology architect, DOCSIS 3.1 Project, at Stofa A/S. “The platform is a perfect match for the demanding requirements in our Remote PHY deployments, as it accommodates our need for scalability, high number of Ethernet ports and DC power capabilities.”
The TimeProvider family is designed to scale from the core to the aggregation and edge layers of access networks, as well as mobile infrastructure. Microsemi’s new TimeProvider 4100 gateway clock is complementary to its higher capacity and fully redundant TimeProvider 5000 core grandmaster clock, which is used for higher density core deployments. Microsemi’s TimeProvider 4100 offers the latest PTP standards as well as oscillator choice for holdover. The device represents a new class of sync product which accepts multiple inputs from GNSS, SyncE, 1588 PTP and E1 digital transmission links, and distributes timing flows to multiple endpoints. The TimeProvider 4100 also boasts an extensive port fan-out for PTP, NTP, SyncE and legacy building integrated timing supplies (BITS). With multiple ports for current, legacy and future networks, the device offers customers a cost-effective solution that can be easily adapted for a wide variety of use cases.
“Our TimeProvider 4100 offers a robust solution with the flexibility to deploy in a wide range of environments accommodating standards ranging from mobile 5G to the new cable DOCSIS 3.1 criterion due to its impressive versatility,” said Eric Colard, director of product line management for Microsemi. “The device uniquely provides a 1588 grandmaster supporting these standards with the high precision, accuracy and reliability requirements needed for leading cable operators like Stofa.”
According to IHS Markit, the market value for the access network market segment will reach more than $20 billion in 2021, driven by the fiber market which will show a nearly 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), as well as growth within the cable market. Microsemi’s TimeProvider 4100 is well-aligned with the growth opportunity, as the device is designed to accommodate the increased PTP and synchronization requirements within the market, including Remote PHY architectures and the DOCSIS3.1 standard.