The Time as a Service service becomes operational

By in Consortium, News

“Time is money”, especially in automated financial transactions, where a millisecond can be worth tens of millions of euros. An accurate and certified dating is therefore necessary. In the microsecond, according to the European Securities and Markets Authority’s MiFID-II RTS 25 Markets Directive, which requires “1 microsecond granularity and UTC traceability at the 100 microsecond level”.
The INRIM response is a link to the UTC international time scale via optical fiber. Proven response with the creation of a working link between Turin and the financial district of Milan, thanks to the infrastructure of the Turin-based TOP-IX Consortium.
After the experimentation phase, the Time as a Service (TaaS) service has become operational on the TOP-IX infrastructure and provides for the dissemination of the time sample certified by INRIM through the fiber-optic infrastructure managed by TOP-IX on channels dedicated and therefore separate from those used for other network activities. Service is performed with a protocol which is an evolution of Precise Time Protocol (PTP) IEEE 1588v2, available on specific TOP-IX network devices dedicated to this service.
Compared to other solutions, the fiber offers high accuracy and preserves the integrity of time – explains Andrea Casalegno, Technical Director of TOP-IX -. In the specific case of the transactions, the fiber ensure a certain dating, referable to UTC time, with a level of accuracy of a few tens of nanoseconds.
In addition to the financial sector, the service can have applications in the aerospace, telecommunications (for 5G) and smart grid fields, which require high precision time and frequency references.