Hot takes from ITSF 2022

In the world of sync and timing, November is the month of ITSF. Now that we could all be together again, what were this year’s hot topics?
Jörg Urban

The International Timing & Sync Forum is the largest conference in the network sync industry, showcasing solutions for telecoms, finance, broadcast, smart grids, IoT, distributed data centers, transport and defense. It’s the place to be for news of the latest technology for precise and stable time and sync from leading manufacturers, together with the latest in standards and standards roadmaps. This year, there were a record number of attendees with over 300 international delegates.

Oscilloquartz innovation is always a key part of the conference, and our experts play a central role in the event’s workshops, presentations and showcases. The home of ITSF for 2022 was Dusseldorf, Germany, where our team was on hand to demonstrate the comprehensive capabilities of our timing toolkit to meet all network synchronization requirements, from syncing radio access networks and small cells to enabling communication service providers to deliver time as a service.

Our presentations included Ken Hann talking “sync on tap.” He discussed our new OSA SoftSync™ client software, which adds advanced PTP timing technology to server-hosted applications, and the OSA 5400 M.2, which brings precise timing to COTs servers or even virtual machines. The session outlined how, for a low total cost of ownership, OSA SoftSync™ creates an end-to-end synchronization architecture able to meet the needs of advanced time-critical services. This will be invaluable for 5G, financial institutions, data center networks and other time-critical applications.

Jeremy Thomas covered precise and assured timing for enterprise networks, outlining the evolution of enterprise sync and looking at how future technology will deliver new levels of timing stability. This is an especially important issue in the financial sector, where it’s vital to have reliable, traceable and precise timestamping that operates securely and meets regulations. The session also explored the growing number of organizations who are now looking to outsource their timing infrastructure and capabilities. 

A session on the role of ePRTC systems in data center synchronization was delivered by Igal Pinhasov. Accurate timing is essential for effective operations, and an ePRTC source can offer the levels of precise synchronization required while also removing vulnerability to GNSS outages. Igal explained how, with our optical timing channel (OTC) technology, PTP-optimized optical transport can be used to distribute accurate timing all the way from the core of the network to the edge. Utility communication networks are a good example here. As they digitize and evolve into smart grids, ePRTC and OTC offer a way to disseminate time all the way from the core to substations with nanosecond precision and robust protection from GNSS vulnerabilities.

Booth at ITSF

Another topic explored in Igal’s presentation was how independence from satellite-based sync can also be delivered through GNSS/GPS-backup-as-a-service (GBaaS). In this scenario, a specialized service provider operates a robust and reliable network supplying precise and secure timing as a backup to GNSS. 

As well as our presentations, our team hosted a tour of Dusseldorf’s old town that managed to take in five different bars. The welcome speech from Gil went down well, as did the snacks and beers. 

ITSF delegates were also able to see live demonstrations of our complete set of end-to-end timing technology from our core grandmasters to our edge solutions. Our innovation for key timing verticals was highlighted, including telecom, power, broadcast and enterprise. On display too were our industry-first cesium atomic clocks built with superior optical technology for the best available holdover.

Overall, resilient timing and assured PNT was a key topic across the show, which was exciting to see. Our jamming, spoofing and cyber threat defense has been one of our main focus areas this year. The ADVA/Oscilloquartz aPNT+™ solution delivers excellence in threat detection with multiple backup options alongside a comprehensive range of strategies for mitigating any fault. 

It was a great four days, made all the more special by so many of us being able to be together in person once again. We were pleased to be able to show the global sync community how much we’ve achieved in the past year and share what we have in store for 2023.


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