The PCI Express (PCIe) Precision Time Measurement (PTM) protocol significantly improves the accuracy of synchronized time available to application software. PTM requires hardware support that’s increasingly available in PCIe root port and endpoint implementations. Hardware support is also required in PCIe switches. We believe it’s important to enable the ecosystem with a rich set of devices that can move the industry to the next level of time-sensitive distributed applications.
This article starts by discussing the need for more accurate time synchronization within a distributed system, the challenges of using synchronized time provided by the Precision Time Protocol (PTP) in application software, and the solution provided by the PTM protocol.