A new economy built on the massive growth of endpoints on the internet will require precise and verifiable timing in ways that current systems do not support. Applications, computers and communications systems have been developed with modules and layers that optimize data processing but degrade accurate timing. State-of-the-art systems now use timing only as a performance metric. Correctness of timing as a metric cannot currently be designed into systems independent of hardware and/or software implementations.
To enable the massive growth predicted, accurate timing needs cross-disciplinary research to be integrated into these existing systems. Different criteria are needed for different endpoints on the network, such as: accuracy versus stability for time, phase and frequency synchronization. In addition to accuracy, security issues represent another critical need. In many cases, having assurance that the time is correct is a more difficult problem than accuracy. Security issues include protection from attack, and having means to verify that the time is correct.
Our interdisciplinary, global research team is exploring issues in