Timing dependent applications rely on their clocks being correct within the set tolerances required by that technology.  In order to achieve this, timing is transferred between clocks using various methods that enable time or frequency, phase or time of the required quality to be available to the application.  The activity of transferring time between clocks is known as synchronisation.

Timing and synchronisation quality can be described by two factors: accuracy and stability.  Accuracy is the measure of how closely the clock compares to a reference or target value; this can be a global standard for time such as UTC or a desired frequency such as 10MHz; stability is the measure of the variance of the clock when observed over a period of time.  This is visually shown in the diagram below where accuracy and stability is shown if the goal is to hit the centre of the target using multiple shots.

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