GMV awarded a £2 million contract to develop new White Rabbit switch

The new White Rabbit switch will protect the UK’s infrastructure using an emerging open hardware technology for time distribution The project will also kickstart a new collaboration between GMV and CERN to implement and further develop the White Rabbit standard

GMV has been awarded a £2 million contract in the UK to develop the new White Rabbit switch, an emerging open hardware technology for fiber-optic time distribution that will protect the UK’s infrastructure. The contract was awarded by Innovate UK through its quantum-enabled positioning, navigation, and timing competition. GMV is leading the development with the assistance of IQD, a clock manufacturer based in the UK. GMV will join the international White Rabbit community as part of the new White Rabbit Collaboration program at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

The contract will deliver a new UK sovereign time distribution product from GMV, securing long term supply to address the clear needs of the domestic market. The product further has significant export potential to address the global problem of over dependency on vulnerable satellite signals. The GMV product will be used to augment and replace other technologies that are used in critical applications that currently depend on satellite navigation signals (GNSS) to meet their timing and synchronisation needs.

The new switch will utilise the latest White Rabbit time distribution and synchronisation standards emerging from CERN and will contain cutting edge quantum clock technology to deliver assured and resilient time for users.

Mark Dumville, CEO GMV, UK said: “GMV is committed to developing a portfolio of innovative products and services to ensure the UK is protected from loss of GNSS.  The development team at GMV look forward to working with IUK and our industrial partners IQD and Zyxt to distribute Quantum-enabled time across UK infrastructures to ensure continuity of critical services without disruption or degradation during periods of complete loss of GNSS”. Roger McKinlay, challenge director Quantum Technologies Innovate UK added: In the Challenge we have been keen to fund activities across the supply chain and I am delighted to be funding a project which integrates quantum technology into a capable product from an important supplier. GMV clearly can exert the “technology pull” we have wanted to incorporate in our portfolio from the outset and which is essential for the adoption of quantum technologies.

About White Rabbit switch

The project will also kickstart a new collaboration between GMV and CERN to implement and further develop the White Rabbit standard. White Rabbit is an emerging open hardware technology designed for time distribution over fiber optic networks using Ethernet, independent of GNSS, offering sub-nanosecond precision. Initially developed to synchronize particle physics experiments at CERN, White Rabbit has gradually found applications in a wide variety of fields, such as comparing remote atomic clocks (metrology), synchronizing arrays of antennas in radio telescopes, and providing highly accurate timestamps in stock market transactions.