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Online tool eases clock tree design for Internet infrastructure

Posted: 19 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Silicon Labs? Internet infrastructure? clock tree? data centre?

Silicon Labs has unveiled an online timing utility that claims to simplify the designing of clock trees for various Internet infrastructure applications including high-speed networking, telecommunications and data centre equipment. The Clock Tree Expert tool allows embedded developers to generate sophisticated, streamlined clock tree block diagrams within minutes, simplifying system design, reducing BOM count and speeding time to market, described the company.

Today's networking and telecom equipment designers are under pressure to deliver best-in-class products at competitive prices. Timing component selection and clock tree design are more important than ever because timing ICs provide low-jitter timing references for high-speed 10/40/100G data applications and can greatly impact system-level performance. When specifying clock trees for their applications, hardware designers must ensure critical jitter performance parameters are met with sufficient margin with the minimum number of timing components. Choosing the optimal combination of clocks, oscillators, jitter attenuators and buffers can be a daunting and time-consuming task for a given Internet infrastructure application.

Leveraging Silicon Labs' DSPLL and MultiSynth technologies, the web-based Clock Tree Expert tool frees developers from the burden of designing clock trees by recommending the optimal combination of highly integrated, low-jitter, frequency-flexible clocks and oscillators required to consolidate timing BOM into the fewest number of components.

The Clock Tree Expert is intuitive and easy to use, the company said. Users simply enter the required frequencies, number of clocks and desired signalling format, and the tool generates a recommended clock tree in seconds using the minimum number of timing components. Experienced users can also use the tool's "Build Your Own" environment to design clock trees to their exact specifications. The Clock Tree Expert then guides the user to find the optimal timing ICs, save and share clock tree designs, generate a BOM list and order samples. When combined with industry-best lead times of less than two weeks, Silicon Labs' timing tools significantly accelerate time to market, added the company.

In addition to streamlining clock tree design, the Clock Tree Expert provides instant access to Silicon Labs' comprehensive timing product information and data sheets. Customise buttons automatically take developers to Silicon Labs' suite of timing customisation tools, which can be used to generate custom crystal oscillator (XO), voltage-controlled oscillator (VCXO), CMEMS oscillator and CMOS/differential clock generator part numbers.

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