PTP is a time synchronization protocol for nodes distributed across a network. Its hardware timestamp feature provides greater accuracy than other time synchronization protocols such as the Network Time Protocol (NTP).
A PTP system can consist of a combination of PTP and non-PTP devices. PTP devices include ordinary clocks, boundary clocks, and transparent clocks. Non-PTP devices include ordinary network switches, routers, and other infrastructure devices.
PTP is a distributed protocol that specifies how real-time PTP clocks in the system synchronize with each other. These clocks are organized into a master-slave synchronization hierarchy with the grandmaster clock, which is the clock at the top of the hierarchy, determining the reference time for the entire system. Synchronization is achieved by exchanging PTP timing messages, with the members using the timing information to adjust their clocks to the time of their master in the hierarchy. PTP operates within a logical scope called a PTP domain.