thesis_access.pdf (12.02 MB)
Download file

The Design of an IEEE 1588 End-to-End Transparent Ethernet Switch

Download (12.02 MB)
posted on 14.11.2021, 23:53 by Gordon, Caleb

In measurement and control systems there is often a need to synchronise distributed clocks. Traditionally, synchronisation has been achieved using a dedicated medium to convey time information, typically using the IRIG-B serial protocol. The precision time protocol (IEEE 1588) has been designed as an improvement to current methods of synchronisation within a distributed network of devices. IEEE 1588 is a message based protocol that can be implemented across packet based networks including, but not limited to, Ethernet. Standard Ethernet switches introduce a variable delay to packets that inhibits path delay measurements. Transparent switches have been introduced to measure and adjust for packet delay, thus removing the negative effects that these variations cause.  This thesis describes the hardware and firmware design of an IEEE 1588 transparent end-to-end Ethernet switch for Tekron International Ltd based in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. This switch has the ability to monitor all Ethernet traffic, identify IEEE 1588 timing packets, measure the delay that these packets experience while passing through the switch, and account for this delay by adjusting a time-interval field of the packet as it is leaving the switch. This process takes place at the operational speed of the port, and without introducing significant delay. Time-interval measurements can be made using a high-precision timestamp unit with a resolution of 1 ns. The total jitter introduced by this measurement process is just 4.5 ns through a single switch.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Electronic and Computer System Engineering

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Carnegie, Dale; Smellie, Brian