Symmetricom just wrapped up a battery of tests using Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) that demonstrated interoperability between network elements, 4G long-term evolution (LTE) eNodeBs and synchronization master clocks.

The testing was performed between Symmetricom’s grandmaster clock connected to Alcatel-Lucent’s switches, routers and LTE base stations, and the company claims it is the first in the industry to assess IPv6 interoperability.

Symmetricom notes interoperability and consistent timekeeping “are critical as network operators transition services to an IPv6 infrastructure. In addition to technology upgrades, operators will likely face a period of overlap, where both IPv6 and IPv4 will require support.” The company already provides IPv6-enabled 1588 grandmasters and a next-generation network (NGN)-ready platform it says can adapt to any network topology. ??

"IPv6 is a key initiative for many operators in 2012 and the transition will require solutions and technologies that are interoperable," said Fred Davant, LTE and Light Radio senior product manager, Alcatel-Lucent. "We’re proud to have conducted these industry-first tests with Symmetricom because this demonstrates to our customers that we are able to support their IPv6 initiatives over their LTE networks." ?

Alcatel-Lucent is a member of the SyncWorld Ecosystem Program launched in March 2011; the group supports interoperability and promotes a standards-based approach to support precise timing and synchronization requirements for communications networks.

Membership requires interoperability testing between Symmetricom and the program members to help ensure delivery of precise timing and synchronization services across the network. For more information about the group, including other partner companies and how to join, click here.

In related news, Altera Corporation tapped Symmetricom as its synchronization technology partner and has joined the SyncWorld Ecosystem Program as the first FPGA vendor. Developers of next-gen 4G/LTE technologies could save system costs and power by leveraging a single-chip, FPGA-based IEEE 1588 solution.

Symmetricom’s SCi 2000 SoftClock, a carrier-grade multi-sync SoftClock, is integrated into an Altera FPGA using a Nios II embedded processor for IEEE 1588 support. The SoftClock was designed specifically to deliver high-precision frequency and phase synchronization required by LTE infrastructure; it is both target-architecture and hardware-platform agnostic. ?

"We chose to partner with Symmetricom because of its reputation and expertise providing synchronization capabilities for Ethernet and mobile backhaul," explains Don Faria, vice president and general manager for Altera’s Communications Business Division. "Symmetricom’s synchronization technologies combined with our leading-edge FPGA technology enables us to deliver comprehensive IEEE 1588 solutions to our communications customers.”?

Implementing the IEEE 1588 standard within a fully contained 28-nm FPGA provides more simplicity in network design by consolidating various capabilities that are typically performed by several silicon components, both companies agree.  ?

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