UAFX defines the use of gPTP as defined in IEEE Std 802.1AS2020 for time synchronization of UAFX Stations. Figure 16 illustrates an exemplary time-synchronized network with two gPTP domains (see The usage of an application clock as ClockSource or ClockTarget depends on the IEEE Std 802.1AS defined role for synchronization. Each instance of ClockSource or ClockTarget is bound to one PTP Instance. The number and type of PTP Instances residing on a UAFX Station depend on the gPTP domains it participates in and its composition, e.g., the presence of a Bridge Component. A UAFX Station can host more than one PTP Instance, e.g., UAFX Stations 1 and 2. A Grandmaster PTP Instance can reside on any grandmaster-capable UAFX Station, e.g., UAFX Station 3. UAFX Station 2 and IA-station support the forwarding of corrected time information in both gPTP domains via PTP Relay Instances (see


NOTE The extent of the Working Clock domain and the Global Time domain may differ.

Figure 16 – Usage example of Global Time and Working Clock domains in UAFX.

The gPTP generates a tree-structure clock relationship between PTP Instances in the network. The clocks in all PTP Instances within a gPTP domain derive their time from a clock known as the Grandmaster Clock.

The following subclauses provide further informative descriptions of IEEE Std 802.1AS2020 terminology and how it applies to UAFX.

IEEE Std 802.1AS2020 defines a gPTP domain in which system timing is consistent. A gPTP domain defines the scope of gPTP message communication, state, operations, parameters, and timescale. The Grandmaster PTP Instance is the root of a gPTP domain.

UAFX supports the following two types of gPTP domains:

Working Clock domain

Global Time domain

Working Clock domain maintains a common sense of time for use cases such as enhancements for scheduled traffic (see IEEE Std 802.1Q).

Global Time domain (e.g. wall clock) maintains a common sense of time across an industrial automation network for use cases such as sequence of events.

There are two types of PTP Instances used in a gPTP domain:

PTP End Instance

PTP Relay Instance

A PTP Instance operates in a single Bridge Component or End Station Component within exactly one gPTP domain. A UAFX Station can contain more than one PTP Instance in the same gPTP domain (see

PTP Instances interface with the communications network using logical entities called PTP Ports.

A UAFX Station can support one or more gPTP domains. Each gPTP domain is represented by a PTP Instance which can have an associated ClockSource or ClockTarget. A PTP Instance with an associated ClockSource is a Grandmaster PTP Instance. A ClockSource and ClockTarget can serve as a provider of time for a UAFX Application (e.g., sequence of events).

Figure 17 and Figure 18 show examples of a UAFX Station consisting of a single End Station Component supporting one or two gPTP domains. Each gPTP domain has an associated PTP End Instance, which connects via a PTP Port to an Ethernet port.


Figure 17 – UAFX Station example with one PTP End Instance


Figure 18 – UAFX Station example with two PTP End Instances

Figure 19 shows an example of a UAFX Station consisting of a single End Station Component and Bridge Component, each supporting two gPTP domains. This example includes Bridge Component ClockTargets and End Station Component PTP End Instances and ClockTargets for both domains. ClockTargets and PTP End Instances may be omitted in an implementation depending on the expected usage of time.

NOTEHow PTP messages are internally dispatched between the PTP Relay Instance and the PTP End Instance is implementation-dependent.


Figure 19 – UAFX Station example with PTP End and PTP Relay Instances

Engineered time-synchronization spanning tree (sync tree) for a given gPTP domain refers to the usage of external port configuration instead of BMCA to construct a desired sync tree with the Grandmaster PTP Instance as the root (see IEEE Std 802.1AS2020, 10.3.1).

One of the advantages of engineered sync trees is to enable a planned, deterministic, and stable configuration of the IEEE Std 802.1AS2020 sync tree for a given gPTP domain, e.g., prevent sync tree changes in case of UAFX Station addition or removal from the network. Working Clock is a use case of the engineered sync tree.

The Grandmaster PTP Instance resides in a dedicated Grandmaster-capable IA-station.

An external sync tree management entity should use the remote management interface described in clause to set up an engineered sync tree.

The following configuration is used for all PTP Ports intended to participate in a gPTP domain using engineered time-synchronization spanning tree:

  • The externalPortConfigurationEnabled parameter is set to TRUE;
  • The ptpPortEnabled parameter is set to TRUE.

For validation that the computed sync tree configuration can be applied to all PTP Ports intended to participate in the given gPTP domain, the management entity configuring the sync tree will, for example, verifies that these ports are up, IEEE Std 802.1AS2020capable, and satisfy topology constraints by checking the following parameters:

NOTEEven if neighbouring PTP Instances do report asCapable, it can be that the link between asCapable neighbouring PTP Instances is not asCapable due to, for example, the wrong setting of meanLinkDelayThresh value. The meanLinkDelayThresh value reflects the estimated propagation delay of the installed link.

The sync tree must have the following properties to ensure consistent protocol behaviour and time synchronization:

After synthesis, the configuration of the gPTP domain and its engineered sync tree may then be applied and validated, for example:

Set Sync message transmission interval uniformly, e.g., default interval.

Set PTP Port states according to synthesis for all PTP Instances.

Check that the syncLocked (see IEEE Std 802.1AS2020, 14.8.52) parameter is TRUE for all PTP Ports of PTP Relay Instances in MasterPort state.