PTP represents Precision Time Protocol. It is an Ethernet or IP-based protocol for synchronizing time clocks on a set of web devices using a Master/Slave distribution structure.
PTP is used for software that needs very high precision timing using Ethernet or Ethernet/IP. For instance, Telco applications including mobile, where not only frequency but also process precision is required to control hand-off of mobile phones from one cell tower to the next.
The Precision Time Protocol (PTP) IEEE 1588 enables the precise cycle synchronization of multiple devices in an Ethernet system. When the clocks of the devices including cameras, workstations, and sensors, are synchronized, future software pictures triggers can be synchronized with 2μs.
The GigE Vision 2.0 standard has integrated PTP IEEE 1588 and ensured highest unity among machine vision hardware and application provisional in the future.
PTP is continually in demand in automation technology when processes need precise synchronization. The area of Motion Control is an essential field of application. PTP is utilized to synchronize drives inside a robot, for instance, or a printing press, a packaging, or a paper processing device.
Cooperating robots are connected through completely precise clocks, or whole parts for devices or installations are closely linked over PTP therefore that the ongoing procedure is coordinated exactly with each other chronologically.
Clocks running synchronously in each element create it possible to generate a decentralized mechanism and decouple completion of the procedure from the communication and processing of control commands.
PTP uses a lightweight packet architecture that needs a very small bandwidth to operate, and it is essential to note it uses several structures for distributing time compared to NTP. Its destined use is over local area networks, including Ethernet. IEEE 1588 represents a hierarchical master-member structure for clock distribution.
The Grandmaster is the primary time source for the structure and will generally receive time from a GPS or atomic clock. The Masters can be referred to as a boundary clock, which is a clock source that has higher than one network port. One or more ports get the timing on while one or more to send time out. The end-user device, the Member to a Master, is referred to as an ordinary clock.
PTP is efficient than NTP but less efficient than GPS. NTP involves SNTP (Simple NTP), which is stateless (no averaging) and hence it is accessible for embedded devices, but less efficient. PTP fills a clock-synchronization need between NTP and GPS-based clock synchronization, with accuracy to 1 μs.