For over 30 years, the Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems (WSTS) has brought together leading experts to discuss the latest timing and synchronization topics. Over this period, time synchronization has evolved from a niche application to an underpinning technology across Power, Telecommunication, Finance and many other industries and applications.WSTS has tracked and progressed the evolution of precision timing over these decades. The event has allowed experts to meet and offers the opportunity to explore cross-industry innovation as an array of timing technologies becomes increasingly essential to many sectors.Proposals are being requested for Talks of interest to our broad audience, and “Posters,” a format that allows the author to have more in-depth interaction with a smaller audience. Select the "Topics" tab from the menu bar above for a listing of session categories.Presenting at this event positions your ideas in front of the top professionals in the timing and sync community.To submit, you must create a profile first. Click on the "New User" link above to start the process.
WSTS has booths available for exhibitors to present corporate marketing messaging and products. Exhibitors are allocated a five-minute slot to present products to everyone in attendance.
Call for Papers Topics
The Workshop on Synchronization and Timing Systems presents a balanced agenda of topics of timely relevance to a broad range of markets:
Precision synchronization and timing solutions have always been a mainstay of the telecom industry. 5G deployment is driving an increased need to deliver accurate synchronization among radio base stations. This trend is expected to continue as the network evolves towards 6G.
Challenges are being presented, however, as vertical industries increasingly integrate 5G and future radio technologies into their applications and offerings. Verticals benefiting from timing and sync innovation include Industrial Automation, Automotive, and SmartGrid. Timing standards in relevant Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) are continuously updated to address these new needs. Further, with new timing-dependent applications, timing security and resiliency will be aspects of increased concern. This session will address the implications for synchronization needs on the evolution of these networks and new vertical services. Topics for discussion:
- 5G has been deployed for a few years, and meeting timing requirements is one of the main challenges 5G networks face. What experience can be shared from these initial deployments on how to address timing challenges?
- What issues are introduced by the evolution of the network architecture (e.g., radio access split, shared network resources, network cloudification)?
- What redundancy schemes are considered (e.g., GNSS combined with PTP, enhanced holdover) for providing the appropriate level of resiliency and availability? How is network performance being monitored?
- Accurate timing may improve network performance, but the design of an accurate synchronization network brings additional costs (especially operational costs) for the network operators. What is the right balance between benefits from accurate timing and related additional expenses?
- What are the synchronization implications on the integration of 5G with vertical industries (e.g., Industrial Automation, Automotive, SmartGrid)?
- The introduction of 5G has increased the need for time sync (e.g., due to the broader use of TDD). What new timing requirements are expected as the network evolves toward 6G?
- Use of telecom infrastructure has been proposed to bring alternative time/frequency synchronization to substations and other digital assets if GNSS goes away. For example, via optical distribution or combined with 5G. What is the status of timing offered over the telecom infrastructure as a component of critical infrastructure?
- What new timing solutions are being considered in current and future telecom networks? Are AI and ML being considered in this context?
- How are standards addressing the evolution of the networks and related timing requirements?
Finance, Data Centers, Broadcast and Media, and Multi-Cloud Systems
Time synchronization plays a pivotal role in critical industries such as finance, broadcast/media, data centers, and multi-cloud systems. The need for precise timekeeping and synchronization grows as these domains become increasingly complex and interconnected. This call for papers explores the evolving time and synchronization requirements in these industries. Experts, researchers, and practitioners are all invited to submit. Suggested areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- High-Frequency Trading: Time-sensitive trading strategies, algorithmic trading, and the role of accurate timestamping
- Broadcast and Media: Synchronization requirements for live broadcasting, production workflows, content distribution, and video streaming
- Data Centers: Clock synchronization techniques, precision time protocols, and their impact on data center operations
- Multi-Cloud Systems: Challenges in synchronizing data and applications across multiple cloud providers and geographic locations
- Cloud Computing: Value of time to applications and services utilizing cloud computing
The use of Alternate PNT (APNT) is becoming increasingly important to either supplement or replace traditional PNT systems that currently support mission-critical systems and applications. This is particularly true in systems requiring time recovered from GPS L1 C/A.
In addition to the space-based infrastructure, such as the pLEO (proliferated Low-Earth Orbit) constellations deployed by both commercial entities and the U.S. Department of Defense, there is much interest in ground-based APNT systems that may use a variety of signals of opportunity. An example is the National Association of Broadcasters' (NAB) Broadcast Positioning System (BPS) timing-over-TV-towers pilot and the complementary PNT (CPMT) plan put forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Yet, while offering a host of possibilities, the use of signals of opportunity to provide PNT services to the user also presents a concern for the PNT community. For example, the integration of signals of opportunity within the U.S. PNT infrastructure may create new vulnerabilities in what is perceived to be a robust solution to the existing PNT's dependence on GPS. The APNT track seeks papers that discuss the resilience of all alternative PNT systems and their availability to the user — both independent of GPS/GNSS and as a complement to it. We invite abstracts for technical presentations on the following topics:
- Alternate sources of traceable UTC time
- Timing distribution networks, systems, and applications, including space, ground, and aerial networks
- Methods of ensuring traceable time transfer across different APNT systems
- Decentralized or consensus-based time distribution networks
- Novel implementations of clock sync and time transfer in GNSS denied and non-traditional environments
- Performance and vulnerabilities of PNT services using signals of opportunity
- Resilience of APNT systems compared with traditional PNT systems
- Space-based generation of global timing sources
Advancements in Time/Frequency Sources and Synchronization
With more applications increasingly requiring coordination, cooperation, communication, and collaboration, it is essential they have a level of synchronization with one another, be it time- or frequency-based. The type and accuracy of synchronization required will vary, driven by each application's unique needs. Currently, many industries are experiencing significant changes in infrastructure to meet their respective industries' demands in terms of both current and future functionality. A crucial aspect of this is the redundant deployment of time and frequency sources and the distribution of these time synchronization technologies across last mile, backhaul, core, and cloud platforms.
To cover this topic, Talks and Posters are invited that discuss sources of time and/or frequency and look at synchronization techniques that can be used in delivering precise, accurate, and traceable (where necessary) time. Submissions that discuss new research and/or developments that look to create new methods to meet the changing needs of the industries are welcome. Talks or posters that consider measurement methodologies are also encouraged. Also welcomed are those addressing recent development of timing sources and synchronization techniques, especially in relation to the increasing need for secure timing. This includes but is not limited to innovations and technological advancements.
The use of time and the need for time synchronization has been growing, is now ubiquitous and is expanding into a world of emerging applications. Areas such as intelligent transportation (e.g., self-driving vehicles), Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning all benefit from accurate time synchronization.
Also, time synchronization is essential for applications using IEEE 802.1 Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN), such as Industrial Automation, Automotive, and Aerospace industries. This session will address the need for time synchronization in emerging applications. Topics of interest include the following. In general, real-world examples are encouraged:
- The use of time synchronization in Artificial Intelligence and its impact on performance and system implications.
- Use of time synchronization in Machine Learning and its impact on technical architectures and applications.
- Cyber physical systems and the role time plays in the architectures and performance of these systems.
- Use of time synchronization in self-driving vehicles, the need for time in autonomous vehicle traffic control and collision mitigation, and techniques for acquiring time and sharing it between traffic entities would be well received.
- How IEEE Std 802.1AS is being used in applications such as Industrial Automation for the Automotive and Aerospace industries.
- Resiliency, vulnerabilities, and security implications related to time synchronization in the above-mentioned areas.
- Cross-disciplinary insights and lessons learned from these emerging applications.