Synchronisation of Packet Coupled Low-accuracy RC Oscillator Clocks for Wireless Networks

Yan Zong, Xuewu Dai*, Pep Canyelles-Pericas, Zhiwei Gao, Wai Pang Ng, Krishna Busawon, Richard Binns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Time-sensitive wireless applications have strict requirements on real-time data transmission and control operation. Even though time synchronisation has been extensively studied for providing a common timing among distributed wireless nodes, there still exists a lack of research for low-accuracy and large-drifting clocks, such as internal Resistor-Capacitor (RC) oscillator clocks with around 4 × 10 5 parts per million (ppm), which are widely used in wearable sensor systems. This paper proposes a Proportional Packet-Coupled Oscillators (P-PkCOs) protocol for synchronising poor-performing internal RC oscillator clocks with high disturbances in the single-cluster wireless network. The behaviour of such a drifting clock is described as a non-identical and time-varying model. To achieve time synchronisation on low-accuracy internal RC oscillator clocks, a packet-coupled synchronisation scheme is proposed for adjusting drifting clocks via the proportional control-based correction scheme. The RC oscillator frequency in an embedded system cannot be corrected, and this work utilises the clock threshold adjustment as a substitute for frequency correction. The stability region of controller parameters is given to guarantee that the clock threshold approaches a value, which is jointly determined by the nominal threshold and the corresponding clock frequency. We also propose a linear matrix inequality condition to prove that the P-PkCOs performance is robust against the large clock disturbances. We demonstrate the implementation of P-PkCOs. The experimental results show that P-PkCOs can achieve and maintain robust time synchronisation on the internal RC oscillator clocks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2022

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