The Basics of Synchronized Ethernet

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Executive Summary

Over the past two decades, Ethernet has become the dominant technology for data transmission - in particular, with telecom and wireless providers - due to its simplicity and low cost. However, the asynchronous nature of Ethernet provides certain transmission challenges. For example, Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) services such as T1/E1 and SONET/SDH require synchronized clocks at both the source and destination nodes. Similarly, wireless base stations require synchronization to a common clock to ensure a smooth call hand-off between adjacent cells. While there are several ways to achieve synchronization over Ethernet, one gaining momentum is Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE).

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