KUKA's IEEE 1588 Software Module Provides Precise Clock Synchronization

11/16/2005 - KUKA Controls, a leading developer of real-time operating system solutions for Windows® XP, introduced the Beta version of its new IEEE 1588 software module at the IEEE 1588 Conference & Plugfest held at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Switzerland. One of only two software-based solutions introduced, the new IEEE 1588 software module provides sub-100 microsecond time synchronization with other IEEE 1588 devices without the cost of adding dedicated hardware.

The IEEE 1588 module is compatible with both Wind River VxWorks for x86 and KUKA Controls' VxWin. VxWorks applications requiring clock synchronization can seamlessly synchronize with other IEEE 1588 devices. The software module is fully compliant with the IEEE 1588 Standard for precision clock synchronization of networked measurement and control systems. When installed in VxWin or VxWorks applications, it can determine the clock classification of other IEEE 1588 devices on the network, which may have varying precision, resolution and stability; and can adjust them to maintain precise clock synchronization. Other IEEE 1588 devices can be connected using standard Ethernet hardware further reducing the system cost. In providing full IEEE 1588 compliance, the IEEE 1588 software module not only eliminates the need for the dedicated hardware, it also assures interoperability with other IEEE 1588 devices.

KUKA Controls presented a paper on the new IEEE 1588 module at the conference. The company is a board-level member of the IEEE 1588 Standards Committee and has been instrumental in developing the final standard.

KUKA Controls' real-time software extensions are distributed worldwide and are deployed in Aerospace, Automation, Defense, Medical and Test & Measurement applications. The company is a Microsoft Gold Level Windows Embedded Partner (WEP) and a Wind River Platform Partner. These long-term relationships provide smooth integration of the latest OS updates and assure customers of the necessary long-term platform stability. KUKA Controls also certifies third-party hardware compatibility to simplify development of new real-time applications.

The latest version of KUKA Controls' VxWin® features support for both APIC and multiprocessor systems including support for the ACPI uniprocessor and ACPI multiprocessor HALs used with most modern PC hardware. The ACPI support adds hibernate and power management functionality to the system. The extensions can now be started by a service, allowing the application to begin real-time processing without user log on.

KUKA Controls' VxWin and CeWin real-time extension technology enable the coexistence of two operating systems on a single computer, in part, by dividing the PC memory so that the RTOS (either VxWorks or Windows CE) and Windows XP each execute in separate, protected memory areas. No modifications are made to either operating system allowing developers to take advantage of previous experience and existing code while maintaining maximum flexibility.

About KUKA Controls GmbH
KUKA Controls GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of KUKA Roboter GmbH, the number one European industrial robot manufacturer and a part of IWKA AG Group. KUKA Controls specializes in real-time software, operating systems, motion control, graphical user interfaces (GUI), handhelds, dynamic algorithms, PC-based hardware development and application programming. KUKA Controls globally markets real-time extension technology for automation and robotics as well as test and measurement instrumentation and medical devices and equipment. KUKA robot controllers are developed and produced for the parent company.

About KUKA Roboter GmbH
KUKA Roboter GmbH, Augsburg is an IWKA Group company and is the worlds' leading manufacturer of PC-based industrial robots. The company's core competencies are the development, production and sales of industrial robots, controllers, software and linear units. KUKA is the market leader in both Germany and Europe and ranks 3rd worldwide. The KUKA Robot Group employs 1.650 people and is represented by over 20 subsidiaries in Europe, USA and Asia. In 2003, company sales were 420 million Euros.

About IEEE 1588
This standard defines a protocol enabling precise synchronization of clocks in measurement and control systems implemented with technologies such as network communication, local computing and distributed objects. The protocol will be applicable to systems communicating by local area networks supporting multicast messaging including but not limited to Ethernet. The protocol will enable heterogeneous systems that include clocks of various inherent precision, resolution and stability to synchronize. The protocol will support system-wide synchronization accuracy in the sub-microsecond range with minimal network and local clock computing resources. The default behavior of the protocol will allow simple systems to be installed and operated without requiring the administrative attention of users.

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