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- What is an actuator?
An actuator is a transducer that causes an electrical signal to change a physical, biological or chemical parameter of the real world, for example: a heater actuator to set the temperature. Actuators typically accept digital data representing the parameter from another component of the system and then cause the appropriate change in the real world physical parameter of interest.
Actuator components in a system supporting IEEE 1588 will typically include a 1588 clock and a small microprocessor. Such components are often termed 'smart transducers' in that they do some processing on the received digital data before making a change in the real world.
- What is the role of the 1588 clock?
The 1588 clock typically is used in an actuator component as a mechanism to generate the actuation trigger by comparing the time of the 1588 clock to a specified 'trigger time' provided to the component as part of the application.
Since 1588 clocks in all system components will be synchronized to a specified uncertainty, data or actions of system components based on these clocks will also be synchronized according to the application specifications.