Symmetricom and Mindspeed Bring Precision Timing to Small Cells

Symmetricom provides Mindspeed with leading timing technology that cuts costs and eases integration

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Symmetricom®, Inc. (NASDAQ:SYMM), a worldwide leader in precision time and frequency technologies, and Mindspeed Technologies®, (NASDAQ:MSPD), an industry leader in technology for small cell chips today announced they are working together to set the industry standard for precise time synchronization to include precision timing and GPS functionality to small cell system-on-chip (SoC) products.

The integration of Precision Timing Protocol (PTP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP) into Mindspeed's Transcede® T2000 and T3000 device families cuts customers' costs and simplifies development as external components are no longer needed and the functionality is directly supported as part of Mindspeed's small cell reference design.

Like all base stations, small cells require precision timing. However, the techniques used to achieve this within traditional macrocells are prohibitively expensive for cost-sensitive mass market products like small cells. Many small cells therefore use NTP as a software (packet-based) alternative, necessitating development and integration. Symmetricom delivers a demonstrated interoperable solution, accelerating time to market and reducing risk.

Cellular technologies require very precise timing far more demanding than many familiar technologies. For example, a small cell base station must have a frequency accuracy of 100 parts per billion and must be able to maintain this accuracy over a wide temperature range and over months or years of operation. Traditional base stations have used Rubidium clocks and double ovened oscillators to achieve this accuracy, but are impossible to use in a cost-sensitive small cell application. In today's environment, smarter packet-based techniques are used instead.

Symmetricom's SCr/SCe NTP/ PTP and sGPS SoftClock solution will provide the highest level of time and frequency accuracy to Mindspeed's industry leading Transcede small cell products. Symmetricom also supports softGPS which can be used to confirm the location of the small cell.

The Mindspeed solution supports NTP and PTP directly. No additional hardware is needed and only requires an external low-cost radio for GPS as all the processing is done on the SoC. Unlike many GPS implementations, the solution is optimized for high-sensitivity so the small cell can get location even indoors and in areas which were once impenetrable by traditional GPS solutions.

"As the small cell market continues to grow and our market share increases, we continue to innovate our products," commented Alan Taylor, director of product management of Mindspeed's Wireless division. "By incorporating support for NTP, PTP and uniquely high-performance GPS into our chips, Mindspeed has removed another significant pain point for OEMs, demonstrating once again our technology lead in small cells."

"GPS, PTP and NTP are key timing protocols to be integrated within small cell designs," said Manish Gupta, vice president of marketing and business development at Symmetricom. "Mindspeed has been a leader in small cell technology, and is a natural fit with the highly accurate and innovating timing solutions from Symmetricom."

Besides timing, GPS is also widely used to provide location. In some regions like the US, it is required to provide location information for each small cell. In the US operators do not have national licenses, meaning that each small cell needs exact location data to determine which radio band it may use. It is also a requirement as part of the E911 regulation to enable emergency services to ascertain where calls originate. Location information also ensures that small cells remain in their designated area.

About Mindspeed Technologies

Mindspeed Technologies (NASDAQ:MSPD) is a leading provider of network infrastructure semiconductor solutions to the communications industry. The company's low-power system-on-chip (SoC) products are helping to drive video, voice and data applications in worldwide fiber-optic networks and enable advanced processing for 3G and long-term evolution (LTE) mobile networks. The company's high-performance analog products are used in a variety of optical, enterprise, industrial and video transport systems. Mindspeed's products are sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) around the globe.

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About Symmetricom, Inc.

Symmetricom (NASDAQ:SYMM), a world leader in precise time solutions, sets the world's standard for time. The company generates, distributes and applies precise time for the communications, aerospace/defense, IT infrastructure and metrology industries. Symmetricom's customers, from communications service providers and network equipment manufacturers to governments and their suppliers worldwide, are able to build more reliable networks and systems by using the company's advanced timing technologies, atomic clocks, services and solutions. All products support today's precise timing standards, including GPS-based timing, IEEE 1588 (PTP), Network Time Protocol (NTP), Synchronous Ethernet and DOCSIS® timing. Symmetricom is the recipient of the following 2012 awards: Frost & Sullivan Global Technology Innovation Award, Best Carrier Ethernet Core Product at Carrier Ethernet World Congress and GNSS Leadership Product Award. Symmetricom is based in San Jose, Calif., with offices worldwide. For more information, visit: or join the dialogue at


Symmetricom Contact:

Tracy Schriver


t: +1-408-964-7649

Mindspeed Corporate Contact:

Rupert Baines

VP Corporate Strategy and Marketing Communication

t: +44 1225 469 744


Symmetricom, Inc.

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