Online timing utility simplifies clock tree design

18th September 2014
Nat Bowers

Easing the complexity of designing clock trees, Silicon Labs' Clock Tree Expert tool is an online timing utility suitable for internet infrastructure applications such as high-speed networking, telecomms and data centre equipment. Using the tool, embedded developers can generate sophisticated, streamlined clock tree block diagrams in minutes. This reduces complexity, BOM and time-to-market.

Providing low-jitter timing references for high-speed 10/40/100G data applications, timing component selection and clock tree design can greatly impact system-level performance. Critical jitter performance parameters must be met with sufficient margin with the minimum number of timing components. Hardware designers may find that choosing the optimal combination of clocks, oscillators, jitter attenuators and buffers can be a daunting and time-consuming task. The Clock Tree Expert tool recommends the optimal combination of highly integrated, low-jitter, frequency-flexible clocks and oscillators required to consolidate timing BOM into the fewest number of components.

Users simply need to enter the required frequencies, number of clocks and desired signalling format. The web-based tool then generates a recommended clock tree using the minimum number of timing components, in just seconds. The Clock Tree Expert will then direct the user to find the optimal timing ICs, save and share clock tree designs, generate a BOM list and order samples. Alternatively, experienced users can utilise the 'Build Your Own' environment to design clock trees to their exact specifications.

Combined with Silicon Labs’ lead times of less than two weeks, the instant access to comprehensive timing product information and data sheets allows user to significantly accelerate time-to-market.

James Wilson, Director of Marketing, Timing Products, Silicon Labs, commented: “While growing demand for high-speed Internet infrastructure equipment is driving the complexity of timing architectures, we’re committed to making clock tree design as fast and easy as possible for developers. Silicon Labs’ Clock Tree Expert tool makes embedded developers instant timing experts by automating the process of creating and customising clock trees and accelerating the hardware development process. This productivity tool takes the guesswork out of component selection, making it easy to select the best combination of timing devices from Silicon Labs’ broad product portfolio.”

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