5G-ready Jitter Attenuators with fully integrated reference simplify high-speed network timing

Silicon Labs has expanded its family of Si539x jitter attenuators with new device options featuring a fully integrated reference, enhancing system reliability and performance while simplifying PCB layout in high-speed networking designs.

The new Si539x jitter attenuators are purpose-built to address the demanding reference clock requirements of 100/200/400/600/800G designs, providing more than 40 percent margin to the stringent jitter requirements of 56G PAM-4 SerDes used in state-of-the-art Ethernet switch SoCs, PHYs, FPGAs and ASICs, while providing a solution that is future-proofed for emerging 112G SerDes designs.

“Network equipment providers are racing to develop higher speed, higher capacity gear capable of handling 5G wireless traffic. This transition is driving the need for higher performance timing solutions for fronthaul/backhaul, metro/core and data center applications,” said James Wilson, general manager of timing products at Silicon Labs. “FPGAs and PHYs with integrated 56 Gbps SerDes enable higher capacity 100/200/400/600/800G optical and Ethernet line cards but face increasingly complex circuit board design and layout challenges. By integrating the reference inside Silicon Labs’ latest Si539x jitter attenuators, we are helping to ease the industry migration to higher port count, higher capacity 100/200/400/600/800G designs.”

Improved system reliability and performance – The new Si539x jitter attenuators integrate a highly reliable crystal that has been fully tested over temperature and pre-screened for activity dips. The Si539x devices have been fully qualified over a broad range of reliability tests including shock, vibration, temperature cycling and crystal aging. The tightly specified crystal and innovative device construction reduce crystal sensitivity to temperature changes caused by system fans, leading to more consistent, reliable operation.

High acoustic emission noise immunity – The integrated reference device construction provides higher immunity to acoustic emissions (AE) than external crystal-based designs. AE is the radiation of noise waves that occurs when a printed circuit board (PCB) is subject to temperature gradients or external mechanical forces that cause micro-cracks or plastic deformation in the PCB assembly. Unlike a discrete crystal that suffers from greater frequency error due to AE, the Si539x device’s innovative package construction isolates and protects the crystal from AE noise, ensuring reliable operation and a consistent frequency response over time.

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