Broadcom Optimizes Ethernet-Based Networks with End-to-End IEEE 1588 Solution

New Precision Timing Protocol Processor, GbE Switch and 1588v2-based Gigabit PHYs Deliver Low-Cost Platform for Network Operators

Dec 09, 2010, 08:00 ET from Broadcom Corporation from ,BRCM Infrastructure & Networking

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced the availability of its end-to-end IEEE 1588v2-compliant solution for service provider, data center and smart grid power control networks. The solution includes the new Broadcom® BCM53903 precision timing protocol (PTP) processor, a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch, 1588v2-based Gigabit physical layer (PHY) devices, and embedded software clock from Symmetricom to deliver a cost-optimized, yet flexible solution for applications with precision timing requirements. Broadcom will demonstrate its 1588v2-enabled solutions at the company's annual Analyst Day on December 14, 2010 in Irvine.

Ethernet continues to gain prominence in today's networks as a cost-effective way to achieve greater bandwidth. With the emergence of 'all Ethernet'-based networks, packet-based timing synchronization is now of fundamental importance to ensure maximum network performance as more demanding technologies and applications are deployed. In service provider networks, the transition to Ethernet from traditional Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy (PDH) and Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)-based networks makes timing synchronization a key requirement in backhaul networks to synchronize base stations and avoid dropped calls as the call is handed off from one base station to the next. Data center networks also require tighter synchronization to ensure the accuracy and timing of financial transactions, while smart grid networks rely on time synchronization to avoid blackouts and manage dispersed and dynamic renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.  

Broadcom's end-to-end 1588v2 solution provides a simple, cost-effective platform that includes the critical components networking equipment manufacturers need to add timing synchronization to a full range of networking products from small access routers to large switching chassis.  

Highlights/Key Facts:

The IEEE 1588 precision timing protocol (PTP) standard makes it possible for the first time to synchronize clocks of different end devices over a packet-based network to within one microsecond, with Ethernet as the chosen transport technology. The standard was designed to address applications with precise timing requirements not well served by other time synchronization methods such as Network Time Protocol (NTP) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

To address network operator demand for stable timing solutions on Ethernet-based networks, Broadcom has developed an end-to-end silicon solution that includes a PTP processor, GbE switch and PHYs that enable precision timing via the IEEE 1588v2 protocol. Service provider backhaul networks, data center networks and smart grid power control networks are all in need of these packet-based timing solutions.


Broadcom's 1588v2 solution includes the following products:

BCM53903 PTP processor and IEEE 1588 protocol stack that dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of developing 1588-enabled switching products. This processor hosts the SCi 2000 embedded software clock from Symmetricom, an established leader in precise time and synchronization technology that is deployed worldwide.

BCM56330 series GbE edge switch for mobile backhaul applications.

1588v2-based family of GbE PHYs (which also support the IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet standard) including:


BCM54880E – octal-port SGMII 10/100/1000BASE-T GbE transceiver


BCM54682E – octal-port QSGMII 10/10/1000BASE-T GbE transceiver


BCM54685E – octal-port QSGMII 10/100/1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-X/100BASE-FX dual media GbE transceiver


BCM54640E – quad-port SGMII 10/100/1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-X/100BASE-FX dual media GbE transceiver


BCM54614E – single-port RGMII to 1000/100/10BASE-T GbE transceiver


BCM54619E – single-port GMII to 1000/100/10BASE-T GbE transceiver

Broadcom's 1588v2 processor, switch and PHY solutions are currently sampling to early access customers.

Supporting Quotes:

Michael Howard, Principal Analyst, Infonetics Research:

"IP/Ethernet connectivity is growing rapidly and IEEE 1588v2 is becoming a fundamental capability. 1588v2 is critical for Ethernet mobile backhaul transport, where packet timing and synchronization is required to ensure reliable operation and handoff between cellular base stations. The inclusion of 1588v2 in Broadcom's silicon products helps manufacturers deliver equipment for operators to achieve better performance, reliability and cost effectiveness in their IP/Ethernet networks."

Rajiv Ramaswami, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom's Infrastructure & Networking Group:

"As a leader in Ethernet silicon products, our customers look to us to provide cutting edge, integrated end-to-end solutions that help reduce cost and speed time-to-market. The introduction of our 1588v2-enabled processor, switch and PHY solutions marks a new era for packet-based networks and demonstrates the flexibility of Ethernet, allowing it to gain greater momentum and mass adoption in a variety of networks."

James Armstrong, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Symmetricom:

"Combining our SCi 2000 embedded software clock, which is based on field-proven, industry-leading IEEE 1588-2008 (PTP) client technology, with Broadcom's end-to-end silicon solution provides an integrated, best-in-class solution for network operators transitioning to Ethernet-based networks."

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Broadcom's End-to-End 1588v2 Solution

About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications.  Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment.  We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices.  These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom, one of the world's largest fabless communications semiconductor companies, with 2009 revenue of $4.49 billion, holds more than 4,500 U.S. and 1,900 foreign patents, and has more than 7,800 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.

A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.  Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at

Cautions regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

All statements included or incorporated by reference in this release, other than statements or characterizations of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry and business, management's beliefs, and certain assumptions made by us, all of which are subject to change.  Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words.  Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the prominence of Ethernet-based networks and customer demand for end-to-end precise timing synchronization solutions and our position in that space.  These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

Important factors that may cause such a difference for Broadcom in connection with its end-to-end 1588v2-enabled solution include, but are not limited to:

  • Our ability to timely and accurately predict market requirements and evolving industry standards and to identify opportunities in new markets;
  • The rate at which our present and future customers and end-users adopt Broadcom's technologies and products;
  • Delays in the adoption and acceptance of industry standards; and,
  • Competitive pressures and other factors such as the qualification, availability and pricing of competing products and technologies and the resulting effects on sales and pricing of our products.

Additional factors that may cause Broadcom's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the list that can be found at

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss the foregoing risks as well as other important risk factors that could contribute to such differences or otherwise affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.  The forward-looking statements in this release speak only as of this date. We undertake no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statement, except as required by law.

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