Microcontroller manufacturer Microchip Technology has launched a new hardware timekeeping platform that provides network operators with a terrestrial time-keeping alternative.

The platform is designed to support critical infrastructure vendors, such as those operating in the 5G telecommunications, power utilities, and transportation markets, which require high-speed and highly accurate time sources that are independent of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals in case of outages.

TimeProvider 4500
TimeProvider 4500 – Microchip Technology

Dubbed the TimeProvider 4500 grandmaster, the platform provides high-speed interfaces via either 1Gbps, 10Gbps, or 25Gbps for precise time accuracy of less than one nanosecond. It is also capable of supporting very-high-capacity Precision Time Protocol (PTP) transactions and enables higher IEEE-1588 scalability.

In addition to having all the features of Microchip’s previous offering, the TimeProvider 4100, the new platform’s hardware includes the latest generation of a TimePictra synchronization management solution and Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA.

The TimePictra platform offers fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security (FCAPS) management functions; geographical topology, and domain navigation.

“Microchip continues to develop new and innovative time and frequency solutions for critical infrastructure. We designed the TimeProvider 4500 clock to deliver tighter timing accuracy on existing optical network environments without the need for costly upgrades or dedicated dark fiber,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president of Microchip’s frequency and time systems business unit.

“This solution is also the first grandmaster with high-speed data processing up to 25Gbps, enabling connectivity with the newest network elements in deployments.”

In January, Microchip was awarded $162 million in funding from the US CHIPS and Science Act for the expansion and modernization of the company’s Colorado and Oregon plants. Ten days after the funding announcement, Microchip said it would furlough employees at its Oregon site for two weeks in March due to an unexpected drop in sales.