IEEE-1588 PTP protocol evolution

IEEE-1588 PTP protocol evolution

IEEE 1588 is the standard specification for the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) with the version 2 being the commonly deployed implementation. The IEEE-1588 PTP protocol evolution over more than a decade from v1 to v2 to v2.1

IEEE-1588 PTP protocol evolution

The first version (v1) specification released in 2002. This standard is known as IEEE1588-2002. There are some audio devices that conform to older v1 specification but as such v2 is not backward compatible to support that.

A major update (also not backward compatible) was made in 2008 calling it a version 2.0 and remains the most widely deployed implementation in the networks that require synchronization. This standard is known as IEEE1588-2008

A recent update as new as 2019 bumps up the version to 2.1 indicating that it is compatible with v2 however comes with newer features. This standard is known as IEEE1588-2019

PTP v1 vs v2

The major improvement / update in 2008 (v2) was the introduction of:

  • Transparent Clock
  • Two-step mode
  • Peer-Delay mechanism
  • IPv6 support
  • Unicast support
  • Increased message rate

PTP v2 vs v2.1

The improvements / updates in 2019 (v2.1) was the introduction of:

  • Special ports that inherently support timing (eg. WiFi 802.11, EPON etc)
  • Multi-domain interactions
  • Acceptable Master Table based on port-Identity
  • Updates to clock Identity
  • Dataset updates for Transparent clock
  • Not compatible for 2002 standard
  • Holdover-Upgradable capability
  • Domain subparts with sdoId
  • Calculation of MeanPathDelay in multiple domains


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