Measuring the Absolute Accuracy of 10GbE Packet Timestamping

An increasing number of network devices such as switches, capture cards and network adapters offer the ability to timestamp packets. 

Metamako designed and implemented a rigorous test methodology, described in this paper, to measure the absolute accuracy of a 10 Gigabit Ethernet packet capture and timestamping solution.

The Securities Technology and Analysis Center (STAC) has adopted this methodology as part of its independently verified industry standard for measuring time synchronisation accuracy; the STAC-TS (Time Synchronisation) benchmark suite.

The technical whitepaper covers the following topics:

  • Packet Timestamp Accuracy
    • Choice of Oscillator/Clock Options
    • Clock Synchronisation
  • How to measure Packet Timestamp Accuracy
  • Ethernet Clocks
  • Detailed Benchmark Methodology 
    • Pulse & Packet Distribution
    • Test Harness Calibration
    • Mechanics of the Test Runs
    • Post Processing
  • Absolute Accuracy results & explanations