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A key requirement for the EAST distributed control system (EASTDCS) is time synchronization to an accuracy of <1 mus. In 2006 a Distributed Synchronization and Timing System (DSTS) was set up, which is based on the ATmega128 AVR microcontroller and the Nut/OS embedded Real Time Operating System (RTOS). The DSTS provides the control and the data acquisition systems with reference clocks (0.01 Hz ~ 10 MHz) and delayed trigger times ( 1 mus ~ 4294 s). These are produced by a Core Module Unit (CMU) connected by optical fibres to many Local Synchronized Node Units (LSNU). The fibres provide immunity from electrical noise and are of equal length to match clock and trigger delays between systems. This paper describes the architecture of the DSTS on the EAST tokamak and provides an overview of the characteristics of the main and local units.