PCI express gen 4 clocks set new performance standard

12th October 2017
Anna Flockett

Silicon Labs has introduced a family of clock generators providing the industry’s lowest jitter, highest integration and lowest power consumption for applications using PCI Express (PCIe) Gen 1/2/3/4. The new Si522xx PCIe clock generators meet the stringent requirements of PCIe Gen 4 with 20% jitter margin while providing 60% margin to PCIe Gen 3 jitter specifications. Developers can now design PCIe-compliant solutions with confidence knowing Silicon Labs’ PCIe clocks maximise jitter margin and de-risk product development.

Featuring PCIe Gen 4 compliance and up to 12 clock outputs, the Si522xx clocks are suited to provide low-jitter PCIe clock generation and distribution in data centre applications, eliminating the need for standalone clock buffers. In addition to providing best-in-class jitter margin, the Si522xx clocks are fully compliant with PCIe Gen 4 Common Clock and Separate Reference Independent Spread (SRIS) architectures.

The Si522xx device output drivers leverage Silicon Labs’ innovative push-pull HCSL technology, which eliminates the need for external termination resistors required by conventional PCIe clocks using constant-current output driver technology. Internal power filtering prevents power supply noise from degrading clock jitter performance, reduces component count and cuts board space by 30% compared to competing solutions.

Developers designing battery-powered applications like digital cameras are especially concerned about power consumption. The 2-output Si52202 clock is optimised for low-power 1.5-1.8V applications, offering the industry’s lowest power consumption for PCIe applications. Packaged in a small form factor 3x3mm 20-QFN, the device is 45% smaller than competing solutions.

“Silicon Labs continues to drive innovation, performance and integration for PCI Express clocks,” said James Wilson, Senior Marketing Director for Silicon Labs’ timing products. “With the introduction of the Si522xx family, we are now able to serve the clocking needs for the entire universe of PCIe applications, from servers and storage to industrial and consumer applications.”

Because clock jitter is a critical design parameter for all PCIe applications, Silicon Labs offers a free PCIe Gen 1/2/3/4 jitter measurement tool to developers.

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