Aid for power utilities to synchronize communications and provide network security introduced by Microchip

May 20, 2022
GridTime 3000 precise time and frequency signals synchronize analog and digital communication systems for power plants and other infrastructure.

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Microchip Technology Inc. in Chandler, Ariz., is introducing the software-configurable GridTime 3000 GNSS Time Server to provide power plants and substations with a new level of redundancy, network security, and resiliency.

Power plants and substations rely on high-speed communications networks to transmit critical data such as operability metrics, network health, fault monitoring, power measurement, and usage trends.

To synchronize communications and ensure continuity across these networks, substations require secure, precise timing and synchronization to avoid false tripping and to provide accurate timestamping of substation data.

The GridTime 3000 system generates precise time and frequency signals to synchronize analog and digital communication systems. This resilient timing platform incorporates several timing inputs for protection in the event of a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signal disruption caused by severe weather, environmental disturbances, signal jamming, or spoofing.

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Three levels of internal holdover options are available including a base voltage controlled temperature compensated crystal oscillator (VCTCXO) and an optional high-performance oven controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) or Rubidium oscillator option to extend holdover duration and enhance performance.

The precision time server complies with IEC 61850-3, the environmental component of IEC 61850, an industry standard that defines communication protocols for power substations. It also complies with IEEE 1613-2009, the international environmental and testing requirements standard for power substations.

Compliance to these standards demonstrates high resistance to electrical transients and environmental extremes including temperature, humidity and other factors and helps to ensure reliability in harsh substation environments.

Incorporating a hardware-based cryptographic assurance module, the GridTime 3000 system uses industry-standard Rivest, Shamir, Adleman, and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-based encryption to protect against unauthorized configuration upload of malicious code.

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The GridTime 3000 server helps enable users to upgrade system technology as needed, and offers 10 1-gigabit-per-second 1000BASE-T Ethernet ports for high-speed synchronization using Precision Time Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP).

The GridTime 3000 GNSS Time Server includes an internal web browser management interface, and Clock Management Tool (CMT) that provides configuration and management for remote managing and monitoring of the device.

For more information contact Microchip online at

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