Mutual Network Synchronization

Both in biology and in engineering, synchronization of many autonomously oscillating parts is an important concept, think of flashing fireflies, cardiac pacemaker cells, or multi-component systems. In electronic systems consisting of hundreds of autonomous parts with separate clocks, state-of-the-art synchronization techniques can become highly inefficient or fail to provide sufficient synchronization quality. Synchronization mechanisms in biological systems inspire and trigger novel approaches for synchronization in electronic systems.

In our project we develop synchronization architectures for large systems of electronic clocks to support concerted operations and time-distribution, relevant for, e.g., computing, localization, sensing, data-centers and mobile communications. These architectures are inspired by synchronization in biological systems. Using theories of coupled oscillators that capture the effects of signal transmission- and feedback-delays, as well as signal filtering and component heterogeneity, we predict the synchronization properties of such systems. In parallel, we test our theoretical results with experiments on mutually delay-coupled electronic clocks.

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