u-blox launches precision timing module for cellular networks
LEA‑M8F leverages GNSS satellites with other clock sources to ensure base stations stay in‑synch
u‑blox LEA‑M8F surface‑mount precision time & frequency reference module
Thalwil, Switzerland – Dec. 2, 2013 - Swiss‑based u‑blox, a global leader in cellular and positioning modules and integrated circuits, announces the LEA‑M8F precision timing GNSS module. The compact, surface‑mount module generates a precise 30.72 MHz reference clock crucial for synchronizing industrial data and communication systems such as small, femto and macro‑cell mobile networks. High accuracy is achieved by disciplining a local oscillator or other clock source with timing signals received from satellite‑hosted atomic clocks.
To ensure satellite availability, LEA‑M8F is able to acquire and track all 50+ GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou satellites. High sensitivity enables quick autonomous start‑up even inside structures with limited sky‑view.
“A reliable, compact and cost‑effective precision reference clock is a crucial component used in many systems in the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resource sectors (CIKR),” said Thomas Nigg, Vice President of Product Marketing at u‑blox, “Our LEA‑M8F GPS/GNSS satellite‑disciplined timing module enables the proper operation of many mission‑critical infrastructure systems including mobile and fixed‑line communication networks, power generation and distribution systems, gas and chemical processing plants, banking, postal and goods distribution processes.”
Measuring only 17 x 22 mm, the LEA‑M8F module includes a low‑noise 30.72 MHz VCTCXO (voltage and temperature controlled oscillator), meeting the master reference requirements for LTE Small Cells while providing 100 parts‑per‑billion autonomous hold‑over accuracy. The module is also suitable for TD‑LTE, LTE‑Advanced and other applications requiring extended hold‑over times when integrated with small cell platforms.
External sources of synchronization are supported through time‑pulse and frequency inputs and a message interface. This allows measurements from macro‑sniff, Sync‑E or packet timing to be combined with measurements from GNSS to extend the availability of accurate synchronization and in doing so maximize cellular service availability.
LEA‑M8F can track signals from satellites from any two constellations simultaneously (e.g. GPS and GLONASS, GPS and BeiDou, GLONASS and BeiDou). Compatibility with multiple GNSS systems gives the LEA‑M8F access to a large number of satellites, allowing synchronization even in urban or indoor areas with limited sky view. For stationary applications, once a location is known, accurate timing can be maintained based on the signal from just a single satellite.
For more information, download the u‑blox whitepaper “GNSS Timing and the Rise of Small Cells”. Detailed information about the LEA‑M8F and evaluation kit EVK‑M8F can be found on the u‑blox website. Samples of the LEA‑M8F will be available in Q1 2014. For more information contact the u‑blox sales representative nearest you. Click here for high‑resolution image.
The LEA‑M8F will be demonstrated at the Small Cells Americas exhibition in Dallas, Dec. 3‑4, 2013 at u‑blox stand number 3.