National Physical Laboratory signs agreement with UBS and TMX Atrium® to provide a new network timing service

4 August 2016

The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) signs agreement with UBS and TMX Atrium® to provide NPLTime® - a certified and precise time signal that will offer trusted time for trading infrastructures

NPLTime® is a new service providing a precise time signal directly traceable to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and independent of GPS. The service provides the end user with a distributed solution that is certified at their premises via TMX Atrium® infrastructure.

Having traceability back to such a highly accurate time standard will ensure that transactions completed in microseconds can be easily certified. NPLTime® will provide end-users with a trusted timestamp, regardless of how many locations the trades cross.

Dr Leon Lobo, Strategic Business Development Manager at NPL, said: “At NPL, our remit is to manage and disseminate the UK’s timescale, UTC(NPL). NPLTime® is an extension of many decades of time dissemination expertise.  We operate one of the world’s most accurate atomic clocks, NPL CsF2, which is accurate to one second every 158 million years, and are developing the next generation of optical atomic clocks which will be accurate to one second in 14 billion years. By launching this new solution, with a direct connection to UTC, we are able to provide users of NPLTime® with a trusted and traceable distribution service that completely eliminates reliance on GPS.”

Eric Sinclair, President, TMX Market Insights and Group Head of Information Services, TMX Group said:  “The global demand for higher degrees of time stamp accuracy continues to grow. The provision of NPLTime® on the TMX Atrium network enables our community to receive a highly accurate time signal that cannot be disrupted by outside interference and can be implemented using existing infrastructure. The system removes the need for time synchronisation between various locations, and will better equip our clients with the ability to comply with regulatory obligations around the world.”

Chris McConville, Global Co-Head of Equity Electronic Agency Trading at UBS said: “The NPLTime® solution will provide UBS infrastructure with a stable, accurate and resilient time signal whilst simplifying the MiFID II time synchronisation traceability requirements."

NPLTime® will provide end users with an underpinning timing capability for traceable time-stamping, latency monitoring and synchronisation.  The additional metrics it provides will deliver enhanced resilience, confidence and security in the services offered by TMX Atrium®.

NPLTime® also completely eliminates reliance on GPS and removes susceptibility to jamming, spoofing, urban canyon effects and space weather. It reduces the costs associated with managing a complex assortment of timing devices and the need to access roof space to locate GPS antennas. The signal provides a route to compliance with the MiFID II RTS 25 timing traceability requirement.

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