Parade samples 16 lane PCIe 5.0, CXL retimer chip

Parade samples 16 lane PCIe 5.0, CXL retimer chip

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By Nick Flaherty

Taiwanese chip designer Parade Technologies has sampled a retimer chip for PCI Express 5.0 and Compute Express Link (CXL) supporting sixteen bidirectional lanes.

The PS8936 is the PCI Express Gen 5 retimer addition to Parade’s PS8926 and PS8925 PCI Express 4.0 16-lane and 4-lane retimer family currently in production and PS8570 PCI Express 4.0 4-channel linear redriver in sampling stage.

The retimer is compliant with the PCI Express 5.0 specification and has been successfully tested in multiple OEM systems and PCI Express 5.0 CPU platforms. It is designed for use in enterprise systems including servers and data storage, and in high-performance workstations where retimers are needed in very-high-speed data channels to maintain signal integrity across longer PCB traces, connectors, and cables.

The doubling of data rate that PCI Express 5.0 offers over the PCI Express 4.0 comes with the even tougher challenge of error-free signal propagation, which is why retimers are an integral part of the PCI Express 5.0 specification and system implementation.

In addition to supporting the 32 Gbps data rate offered by the PCI Express 5.0 specification, it also supports 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps, 8 Gbps and 16 Gbps for backward compatibility with earlier PCI Express revisions.

“PCI Express has always been an important interface because it’s the technology leader that other high-speed data interfaces tend to follow,” said Jimmy Chiu, Executive VP of Marketing at Parade Technologies. “Parade has a long history in supplying PCI Express repeaters, starting with PCIe Gen 2, Gen 3 and Gen 4 in the past. Our success in development of the PCIe Gen 5 retimer also provides us optimized analog IP that can be leveraged for supporting the increasing data rates of other standards such as USB4 v2, DisplayPort 2.1, and HDMI.”

Adaptive compensation 

The PS8936 includes both adaptive CTLE and DFE equalization to compensate for up to 36 dB channel loss at Nyquist. In addition to supporting PCI Express specification-compliant retimer operation for common reference clock, SRIS and SRNS configurations, it can also enable near-zero latency bit-level retiming. It supports -40 to +85 deg. ambient temperature range.

The PS8936 is available in an 8.9mm x 22.8mm 354-ball BGA package and is sampling now.

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