High-precision relative clock synchronization using time stamp counters

Tian, Guosong, Tian, Yu-Chu, & Fidge, Colin J. (2008) High-precision relative clock synchronization using time stamp counters. In Breitman, Karin (Ed.) 13th IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (iceccs 2008), IEEE, Beflast, UK, pp. 69-78.

View at publisher


In this paper we show how to use a computer processor's Time Stamp Counter register to provide a precise and stable time reference, via a high-precision relative clock synchronization protocol. Existing clock synchronization techniques, such as the Network Time Protocol, were designed for wide-area networks with large propagation delays, but the millisecond-scale precision they offer is too coarse for local-area applications such as instrument monitoring systems, high-quality digital audio systems and sensor networks. Our new clock synchronization technique does not require specialized hardware but instead uses the Time Stamp Counter already available in the widely-used Intel Pentium processor. Experimental results show that we can achieve a synchronization precision in the order of 10 microseconds in a small-scale local area network using TSC registers, which is much higher than can be achieved by using a computer processor’s Time-Of-Day clock.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,910 since deposited on 25 Feb 2009
94 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 18243
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: realtive synchronization, time stamp counter
DOI: 10.1109/ICECCS.2008.39
ISBN: 9780769531397
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 IEEE
Copyright Statement: Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Deposited On: 25 Feb 2009 02:19
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 07:43

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page