Low jitter clock family targets data centres and internet infrastructure

August 04, 2014 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Silicon Labs claims to offer the industry’s most frequency-flexible clock family offering industry-leading jitter performance for high-speed networking, communications and data center equipment serving as the foundation of today’s Internet infrastructure.

The Si534x “clock-tree-on-a-chip” portfolio includes high-performance clock generators and highly integrated multi-PLL jitter attenuators. These single-chip, ultra-low-jitter timing devices combine clock synthesis and jitter attenuation functionality to reduce the cost and complexity of optical networking, wireless infrastructure, broadband access/aggregation, Carrier Ethernet, test and measurement, and enterprise/data center equipment including edge routers, switches, storage and servers.

Skyrocketing demands for bandwidth and the growing complexity of Internet infrastructure and data center systems are driving the need for a wide variety of clocks at different frequencies, signaling formats and voltage levels. Jitter performance requirements to support the highest data rates for 10/40/100G networks are also very demanding. Given the limited flexibility and integration of traditional clock solutions, hardware designers are often forced to use a costly and complicated combination of clock generators, jitter attenuators, oscillators and buffers to complete their clock trees. To address this industry need, the Si534x jitter attenuators and clock generators leverage industry-leading frequency flexibility and clock-tree-on-a-chip integration to deliver an efficient, cost-effective solution that combines all discrete timing functions into a single-chip clock IC solution.

Si5347/46/45/44/42 jitter attenuators and Si5341/40 clock generators provide an I2C-configurable platform with an industry-leading combination of frequency translation capabilities and best-in-class jitter performance (<100 fs RMS). By combining up to four independent jitter-attenuating PLLs and up to five ultra-low-jitter MultiSynth fractional synthesizers, the Si534x family is capable of generating up to 10 outputs with any combination of frequencies from 100 Hz to 800 MHz in a wide range of user-selectable output formats (LVPECL, LVDS, CML, HCSL and LVCMOS). This exceptional level of integration and frequency flexibility eliminates the need for multiple clock ICs, discrete level translation, loop filters and power supply filter components and significantly reduces bill of materials (BOM) cost and complexity while still providing more than 50 percent margin to stringent 10/40/100G jitter specifications.

With the Si534x family and latest ClockBuilder Pro software, high-performance clock configuration has never been simpler or faster.