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01-06-2015 | Issue 6/2015

The Journal of Supercomputing 6/2015

Using physical layer clock recovery to augment application layer time synchronization

Journal:
The Journal of Supercomputing > Issue 6/2015
Authors:
S. M. Usman Hashmi, Imran Shafi, Jamil Ahmad, Anand Paul, Sang Oh Park

Abstract

Achieving same notion of time remains an important task for most distributed systems. Time synchronization requires a unique combination of high accuracy (\(\upmu \)s level) and energy efficiency. Several application layer protocols have been developed to meet these requirements. This article proposes that the physical layer clock recovery process can provide application layer clock drift estimate, and the application layer clock can be corrected with the help of this estimate. This eliminates the need of application layer time synchronization protocol i.e. the cross-layer approach reduces the number of message exchanges required by application layer for time synchronization that leads to energy conservation. It argues that such a cross-layer approach can provide a more accurate frequency offset estimation, or can achieve greater energy savings, for a given accuracy, by reducing the message exchanges. Analysis of the proposed method provides concrete bounds on achieved improvement. Experimental evaluation showed that physical layer clock drift can be used to correct application layer clock drift as they are identical.

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