Crystal oscillators deliver ultra-low jitter performance
A new family of high-performance crystal oscillators (XOs) has been introduced by Silicon Labs, offering what it claims to be the industry’s lowest jitter frequency-flexible solution. The Si54x Ultra Series XOs deliver ultra-low jitter performance down to 80 femtoseconds (fs) for both integer and fractional frequencies across the entire operating range.
According to the company, these XOs provide best-in-class frequency flexibility and excellent jitter margin for demanding applications including 100/200/400G line cards and optical modules, hyperscale data centres, broadband, wireless infrastructure, broadcast video, industrial, test and measurement, and military/aerospace. Si54x Ultra Series XOs are available with single, dual and quad frequency options in an industry-standard 3.2x5mm package, enabling simple, drop-in compatibility with traditional XOs while providing fast lead times and high reliability.
Increasing demand for network bandwidth and faster data rates continue to drive the need for lower jitter reference clocks. Timing jitter defines the purity of a clock signal, and since an XO functions as the system’s local heartbeat, a clean, low-jitter output means less noise in the system. Ultra-low jitter XOs (less than 200fs RMS) are necessary in applications where high clock noise would result in unacceptably high bit error rates (BER), lost traffic or loss of system communication. The safest approach for high-performance systems is to use an ultra-low jitter clock source like the Si54x XO that delivers jitter margin.
“Today’s optical networks, hyperscale data centres and mobile fronthaul/backhaul networks are moving to higher speeds, driving the need for ultra-low jitter timing solutions,” said James Wilson, Senior Marketing Director for Silicon Labs’ timing products. “By choosing Silicon Labs’ Si54x Ultra Series oscillators, system designers will have peace of mind knowing that they are using the industry’s most frequency flexible XO while still enjoying excellent jitter design margin and extremely short product lead times for their application.”
Silicon Labs’ PLL-based approach to oscillators enables efficient manufacturing flows and simplified factory programming, eliminating long lead times and supply chain headaches associated with custom oscillators. Typical XO orders from other timing suppliers may take 10 to 15 weeks to build. In contrast, Silicon Labs keeps pre-screened XO stock on hand. When an order arrives, the appropriate stock is programmed to the exact frequency, and each device undergoes 100% electrical testing prior to shipment. This optimised supply chain enables Silicon Labs to ship samples of any frequency XO in 1-2 weeks and production quantities in four weeks.
To help simplify product selection and customisation, Silicon Labs offers an array of free web-based tools:
- An online part number configuration utility enables designers to specify the oscillator they need and get an orderable part number in minutes.
- An online oscillator phase noise look-up tool provides instant access to thousands of phase noise measurements collected for Silicon Labs oscillators, making it easy to view device phase noise and jitter performance across a wide number of operating frequencies, even from a smartphone or tablet.
- An online cross-reference search utility helps customers find Silicon Labs second-source options for high performance oscillators.
Si54x oscillators use Silicon Labs’ advanced fourth-generation DSPLL technology to provide an ultra-low-jitter clock source at any output frequency. The device is factory-programmed to any frequency from 200kHz to 1.5GHz with less than 1ppb resolution. On-chip power supply regulation provides power supply noise rejection, enabling consistent, reliable low-jitter operation in noisy environments often found in high-speed networking and data centres. Si54x XOs also provide flexible, reliable drop-in replacements for low-jitter surface acoustic wave (SAW)-based oscillators while offering superior frequency tolerance and temperature stability. Si54x oscillators support all popular output formats including LVDS, LVPECL, HCSL, CML, CMOS and Dual CMOS.