Low jitter clocks are the industry’s most frequency-flexible

31st July 2014
Nat Bowers

Comprising high-performance clock generators and highly integrated multi-PLL jitter attenuators, Silicon Labs has announced the next-generation Si534x 'clock-tree-on-a-chip' portfolio. They are claimed to be the industry’s most frequency-flexible clock solutions offering industry-leading jitter performance for high-speed networking, communications and data centre equipment in internet infrastructure.

By combining clock synthesis and jitter attenuation functionality, cost and complexity is reduced for optical networking, wireless infrastructure, broadband access/aggregation, carrier ethernet, test and measurement, and enterprise/data centre equipment including edge routers, switches, storage and servers. The Si534x jitter attenuators and clock generators provide an I2C-configurable platform with an industry-leading combination of frequency translation capabilities (according to Silicon Labs) and best-in-class jitter performance of less than 100fs RMS.

The Si5347, Si5346, Si5345, Si5344 and Si5342 jitter attenuators and Si5341 and Si5340 clock generators can generate up to 10 outputs with any combination of frequencies from 100Hz to 800MHz in LVPECL, LVDS, CML, HCSL or LVCMOS output formats. Eliminating the need for multiple clock ICs, discrete level translation, loop filters and power supply filter components, this integration and frequency flexibility significantly reduces BOM cost and complexity.

Silicon Labs also provides ClockBuilder Pro software to speed and simplify high-performance clock configuration. This software is designed to simplify clock tree design and speed time to market for customers creating custom Si534x clocks for their applications. The intuitive GUI allows designers to generate sophisticated device configurations in less than five minutes, significantly reducing software development overheads. System designers can simply upload their custom configurations to Silicon Labs through ClockBuilder Pro software, rather than waiting months to receive their custom clock orders. Factory pre-programmed samples ship in two weeks, accelerating the overall product development process with the industry’s shortest custom sample lead times. ClockBuilder Pro software is available from Silicon Labs’ website at no charge

Available now for iOS mobile devices (with Android support available later in 2014), the ClockBuilder Go app for mobile devices enables designers to jumpstart their clock tree designs on their smartphones and tablets. Silicon Labs also provides Si534x evaluation boards, enabling developers to move from device configuration through detailed performance analysis to custom part number generation in less than five minutes.

Mark Thompson, Vice President and General Manager, Timing Products, Silicon Labs, commented: “To keep pace with the accelerating complexity of Internet infrastructure, hardware developers need advanced timing solutions to simplify system design and speed time to market. The combination of Silicon Labs’ easy-to-use ClockBuilder Pro software and high-performance Si534x portfolio provides the best solution available today for clock synthesis and jitter attenuation, offering unsurpassed jitter performance and frequency flexibility for high data rate applications.”

With samples available now in QFN packages as small as 7x7mm, the Si5341 and Si5340 clock generators cost $4.75-10.60 (USD) and the Si5347, Si5346, Si5345, Si5344 and Si5342 jitter attenuators are priced in the range of $6.00-29.00 (USD), in 10,000 unit quantities. The evaluation boards, priced at $200 and 250 (USD) (MSRP).

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