“Clock synchronization in 5G is a compute-intensive challenge”

11 October, 2022

Skyworks' professional team arrived at Israel to introduce the new solution for clock synchronization in 5G and O-RAN networks. Product manager Lokesh Duraiappah: "We have many customers in Israel"

Right after the announcement of the Skyworks Solutions new NetSync platform for clock synchronization in G5 and Open RAN networks, a professional Skyworks team arrived to introduce the innovative technology to the Israeli industry. The team’s product manager, Lokesh Duraiappah, told Techtime that this is the first Skyworks’ product combines both software and hardware. “5G networks are based on IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol. It consists of 128-bit words and requires high level of intensive computations in order to define the correct time on each device”.

“This is why we had to develop a complete system with dedicated hardware components such as PHY for Ethernet and the AccuTime software, which is installed on the devices processors and is in charge of performing the computations. Almost every element in 5G network (Radio and control Components) will have to perform the Boundary Clock computations by itself. The platform is ready for use in an Open RAN networks, and thus is expected to open a new large market for us, beyond traditional equipment manufacturers which dominate the Telecom market today.”

The Synchronization Solution Group was founded by Silicon Labs twenty years ago, and is specializing in supplying low jitter clock solutions. Silicon Labs targeted the utilization of Digital CMOS technologies for the development and production of Analog and Mixed Signals components, based on TSMC process. In April 2021 Skyworks acquired the Infrastructure & Automotive Business of Silicon Labs, which includes the 100-employees of the synchronization group.

Atomic clock + multiple intermediate computations

Last month the company announced its new solutions within the NetSync family, Si551x and Si540x, which enables synchronization at all nodes and components in a Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) networks, especially Telecom networks. Lokesh: “Network synchronization is a complicated process, and it even more complicated with 5G networks. The signals are originated from atomic clock connected to the network and provides the initial datum of time. When the network operates, every component within the network is required to calculate its exact time, and when two components are communicating, there is a need to calculate the time differences and to synchronize their clocks.

“The computation is highly complicated, as there are many types of delays within the network. One method we are using to improve performance is based on the traditional Silicon Labs’ approach: We took a system composed of separate components, and merged them into a single silicon solution. One of our business partners is now developing the ability to migrate our software to RISC-V processors.

“The Israeli market is of high significance for us. We have many customers here, at list a few dozen.” Skyworks synchronization division is represented in Israel by Elina Electronic Engineering Group, following its representation of Silicon Labs in the past 25 years. According to Arie Yosef, Elina’s owner and CEO, the Israeli market has special importance at this area for Skyworks: “They arrived here with a strong team of professionals to meet local companies such as Intel, Mobileye and many others.”

Translated by P. Ofer

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Posted in: Electronic Components , News , Semiconductors , Telecom and Communication

Posted in tags: 5G , Skyworks , synchronization