Sub-Microsecond Time Synchronization for Network-Connected Microcontrollers.

IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics(2024)

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Abstract
This paper presents a bare-metal implementation of the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) for network-connected microcontroller edge devices, enabling sub-microsecond time synchronization in automotive networks and multimedia applications. The implementation leverages the hardware timestamping capabilities of the microcontroller (MCU) to implement a two-stage Phase-locked loop (PLL) for offset and drift correction of the hardware clock. Using the MCU platform as a PTP master enables the distribution of a sub-microsecond accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) timing signal over a network. The performance of the system is evaluated using master-slave configurations where the platform is synchronized with a GPS, an embedded platform, and a microcontroller master. Results show that MCU platforms can be synchronized to an external GPS reference over a network with a standard deviation of 40.7 nanoseconds, enabling precise time synchronization for bare-metal microcontroller systems in various applications.
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Key words
PTP,Precision Time Protocol,Microcontroller,Embedded System,TSN,Time Sensitive Networking
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