Microchip’s GNSS Time Server Allows Synchronization of Analog and Digital Communication

Microchip has announced the launch of GridTime 3000 GNSS Time Server, a software configurable system that can be used to synchronize analog and digital communication systems. This platform incorporates multiple protection features to keep the system safe in the event of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal disruption caused by severe weather, environmental disturbances, or signal jamming or spoofing. It incorporates a hardware-based cryptographic assurance module to protect against unauthorized configuration upload of malicious code.

GridTime 3000 GNSS Time Server

Power plants and substations rely on high-speed communications to monitor and transmit data of multiple parameters such as operability metrics, network health, fault monitoring, power measurement, and usage trends. To ensure continuity across these networks, synchronization of precise timing is required to avoid false tripping and to provide accurate timestamping of substation data including system faults, power measurement data and substation status information, and to achieve this Microchip’s GridTime 3000 system generates precise time and frequency signals to synchronize analog and digital communication systems.

It also incorporates three levels of internal holdover options that includes a base Voltage Controlled Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator (VCTCXO) and an optional high-performance Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator (OCXO) or Rubidium oscillator option to extend holdover duration and enhance performance.

“Surges, adverse weather, and cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure all require resilient timing architectures and technology to mitigate the threats and ensure continuous timing,” said Randy Brudzinski, vice president, of Microchip’s frequency and time systems business unit. “This solution provides our customers a new level of performance, which translates to an enhancement of the reliability of communications network in their digital substations.”

According to the company, this precision time server is compliant with IEC 61850-3, an industry-standard that defines communication protocols for power substations, and IEEE 1613-2009, the international environmental and testing requirements standard for power substations. The company also claims that the GridTime 3000 server, with a licensed feature model, provides high flexibility, allowing users to upgrade system technology as needed. It also includes an internal web browser management interface and a Clock Management Tool (CMT). The CMT provides configuration and management for easy remote managing and monitoring of the device and a new array of accessories including a multi-band, multi-constellation GNSS receiver system and cold-swappable power supplies.


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