Optical Networking Featured Article

Silicon Labs Oscillators Deliver Flexibility, Latency Control

December 19, 2017

They say timing is everything. Truth be told, it may not be everything. But in networking, timing is pretty darned important. So is flexibility, and the ability to get the job done without using a different tool for every task.

These are all reasons why Silicon Labs has introduced new crystal oscillators. The Si544/Si549 Ultra Series provide frequency flexibility, and they keep jitter as low as 95 femtoseconds.

"Optical networks, hyperscale data centers, and mobile fronthaul/backhaul networks are moving to higher speeds, increasing the need for ultra-low-jitter timing solutions," said James Wilson, Senior Marketing Director for Silicon Labs' timing products. "By choosing Silicon Labs' I2C-configurable Si54x Ultra Series oscillators, system designers will have peace of mind knowing that they are using the industry's most frequency flexible programmable XOs while maximizing SNR headroom, de-risking development, and helping to ensure first-pass design success."

These solutions are suitable for use with high-speed 28 and 56Gbps transceivers in 100G, 200G, and 400G communications and data center applications. They can be applied to any frequency from 200kHz to 1.5GHz. That means a single device can be used across a broad spectrum of applications. And these oscillators don’t have any frequency gaps in this window of spectrum.

Users can employ up to four pin-selectable start-up frequencies. And users can change frequencies via an I2C interface even after the device has been powered up.

Also, the device can be powered using a 1.8, 2.5 or 3.3 V supply. That eliminates the need for different XO part numbers for different supply voltages. 

These products are available now in sample and production quantities. 10,000 unit quantity pricing for the Si549 Xos starts at $8.36. It’s $6.69 for the Si544 Xos. Silicon Labs is also offering the Si5xxUC-EVB universal evaluation board for $95.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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