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What is a computer or controller?
A computer or controller in a measurement or control system is typically a microprocessor, PC, or programmable logic controller (PLC). The device is typically used to perform data manipulation and to execute control logic to implement the overall application. It may also serve as a human interface to the application. These devices typically receive and send digital data to other components of the system. The application may be centralized with most of the application computation occurring in the computer/controller or it may be distributed with portions of the application executing on the processors of several of the 'smart transducers' or other computer/controllers in the system.
Computer/controllers in a system supporting IEEE 1588 will typically include a 1588 clock.
What is the role of the 1588 clock?
The 1588 clock typically is used by a computer/controller as a mechanism for scheduling or interpreting the progress of the application, that is the interpretation and generation of data or other messages received or sent to other components of the system.
Since 1588 clocks in all system components will be synchronized to a specified uncertainty, system activity based on these clocks will also be synchronized according to the application specifications.