Fundamentally, the 1588 protocol depends on time-stamped frames exchanged between a timing master clock and a timing slave clock, with intermediate boundary and/or transparent clocks to maintain the time accuracy as the 1588 packets traverse the packet network. When coupled with physical layer technologies such as Synchronous Ethernet, IEEE 1588 can also provide robust time alignment, with the addition of phase synchronization. IEEE 1588 is the only standardized terrestrial mechanism today to deliver phase/time via a packet-based network with micro or upto nanosecond accuracy.
PTP messages use the User Datagram Protocol over Internet Protocol (UDP/IP) for transport. IEEE 1588-2002 uses only IPv4 transports, but this has been extended to include IPv6 in IEEE 1588-2008. In IEEE 1588-2002, all PTP messages are sent using multicast messaging, while IEEE 1588-2008 introduced an option for devices to negotiate unicast transmission on a port-by-port basis. Multicast transmissions use IP multicast addressing, for which multicast group addresses are defined for IPv4 and IPv6.
The DTS 4160.Grandmaster can be synchronized by GNSS, PTP, DCF, redundant Link or E1. After synchronization, it can also operate in stand-alone mode with phenomenal holdover accuracy thanks to an embedded OCXO or Rubidium oscillator.