August 31, 2005 Austin, TX -- Silicon Laboratories, a provider of analog-intensive, mixed-signal ICs, has announced its entry into the frequency control market with the introduction of its Si530 and Si550 families of oscillators (XOs) and voltage-controlled oscillators (VCXOs) for applications up to 1.4 GHz.
The company says that the product families include the some of the industry's first quad frequency XO and VCXO devices. According to the company, leveraging proprietary DSPLL technology, both the Si550 and Si530 families offer short lead times, high reliability, and superior performance, suiting them for applications including networking equipment, base stations, test and measurement equipment, storage area networks, and video systems.
The company says its patented DSPLL technology simplifies the clock multiplication and jitter attenuation circuitry required in high-speed telecommunication applications. According to the company, this technology is now the standard for replacing multiple discrete phase-locked-loop (PLL) components with a single IC that integrates digital signal processing (DSP) circuitry and an ultra low jitter voltage-controlled oscillator.
With the technology, the company says it is able to move frequency control and tuning from a complex resonator to a single CMOS IC, enabling the Si530 and Si550 families to deliver total frequency stability over time and temperature that the company says is more than 2x better than traditional high-frequency, low-jitter oscillators. The company says that DSPLL-based frequency tuning also enables up to a tenfold improvement in initial frequency accuracy when compared to designs based on traditional high-frequency SAW or crystal resonators.
"Silicon Laboratories' market-leading jitter performance challenged our best jitter measurement test system," said Amir Aghdaei, vice president of Agilent's Worldwide System Solutions Division. "We developed the JS-500 with very low intrinsic noise, great clock rate flexibility, and true continuous peak-to-peak measurements specifically to help Silicon Laboratories verify their DSPLL-based products' unmatched jitter performance metrics."
Silicon Laboratories says the products leverage the frequency synthesis capability of a mixed-signal IC to eliminate complex materials processing steps required to frequency tune traditional SAW and crystal-based implementations. According to the company, this simplifies the manufacturing process and can reduces lead-times from eight weeks to one week.
"Traditionally, PLL technology has not met the jitter and phase noise requirements for clocking networking and telecommunications applications," maintains Scott Smyser, director and principal analyst of iSuppli. "A high performance, low-noise PLL brings increased flexibility, performance, and reliability to designers that was not previously available from high frequency oscillator technology."
Both XO and VCXO product families support operation over a frequency range from 10 MHz to 1.4 GHz with less than 0.3 ps RMS jitter. Silicon Laboratories says the Si530 and Si550 families also offer significantly improved control voltage linearity while providing a wide selection of voltage gain and pull range options, giving more flexibility to designers when choosing the best device for the application.
"Today, high-frequency, low-jitter oscillators are based on complex resonator technology that forces system manufacturers to endure long, unpredictable lead times and incur significant costs in qualifying and monitoring the reliability of these devices," concludes Brad Fluke, vice president of Silicon Laboratories. "We are excited about applying our proven DSPLL technology to the long-standing problems associated with the high-frequency oscillator market, while also introducing new levels of functionality."
The Si530 and Si550 devices are available in an industry standard, RoHS-compliant, 7 x 5-mm surface mount package with support of all common output formats including PECL, LVDS, CMOS, and CML. The devices are sampling now with production scheduled for the fourth quarter. Depending on the feature set, pricing ranges from $6.05 to $88.95 in quantities of 1k.