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Precision timing module aimed at cellular networks

Posted: 04 Dec 2013     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cellular network  small cell  GPS  GLONASS 

u-blox has introduced a compact, surface-mount module that is said to generate a precise 30.72MHz reference clock crucial for synchronising industrial data and communication systems such as small, femto, and macro-cell mobile networks. According to the company, the LEA-M8F precision timing GNSS module boasts high accuracy that is achieved by controlling a local oscillator or other clock source with timing signals received from satellite-hosted atomic clocks.

To ensure satellite availability, LEA-M8F is able to acquire and track all 50+ GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellites. High sensitivity enables quick autonomous start-up even inside structures with limited sky-view, added the firm.

Measuring only 17 x 22mm, the LEA-M8F module includes a low-noise 30.72MHz voltage and temperature controlled oscillator (VCTCXO), meeting the master reference requirements for LTE small cells while providing 100 parts-per-billion autonomous hold-over accuracy. The module is also suitable for TD-LTE, LTE-Advanced and other applications requiring extended hold-over times when integrated with small cell platforms.

External sources of synchronization are supported through time-pulse and frequency inputs and a message interface. This allows measurements from macro-sniff, Sync-E or packet timing to be combined with measurements from GNSS to extend the availability of accurate synchronization and in doing so maximize cellular service availability.

LEA-M8F can track signals from satellites from any two constellations simultaneously (e.g. GPS and GLONASS, GPS and BeiDou, GLONASS and BeiDou). Compatibility with multiple GNSS systems gives the LEA-M8F access to a large number of satellites, allowing synchronization even in urban or indoor areas with limited sky view. For stationary applications, once a location is known, accurate timing can be maintained based on the signal from just a single satellite.

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