Precision timing with integrated MEMS clock

Precision timing with integrated MEMS clock

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

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SiTime in the US has launched a family of MEMS clock system-on-a-chip for  data centre applications.

The Chorus family of clock generators is aimed at precision AI datacentre timing applications. This new MEMS-based clock-system-on-a-chip (ClkSoC) family offers ten times the performance of standalone oscillators and clocks in half the size.

The 4 x 4mm QFN chip includes clock, oscillator and resonator technologies in an integrated chip, simplifying system clock architecture and accelerating design time by up to six weeks.

The chip has an RMS phase jitter of 70fs from 12 kHz to 20 MHz with a programmable frequency from 1 MHz to 700 MHz and stability of ±20 ppm and ±50 ppm from -40°C to 105°C. There are up to four differential (LVPECL, LVDS, LPHCSL) or eight LVCMOS outputs and programmable 1.8V, 2.5V, or 3.3V power rails.

Rapid upgrade cycles for AI hardware will be essential to running data and compute-intensive AI workloads and the timing is key. The Chorus MEMS clocks can be combined with recently acquired timing products from Aura Semiconductor.

“AI is driving tremendous needs for higher data throughput in datacentres and lower power consumption,” said Piyush Sevalia, executive vice president of marketing at SiTime. “Before Chorus, hardware designers had to use discrete product types, such as clocks, oscillators and resonators, which resulted in performance compromises. Chorus delivers integrated clock generators to solve these problems and is yet another example of how we are transforming the timing market with our approach.”

The integrated MEMS resonator addresses the limitations of legacy clock generators by eliminating problems such as noise and matching the resonator impedance with the clock. Chorus can reduce the board area for timing by up to 50% by replacing up to four standalone oscillators in servers, switches, acceleration cards and smart network interface cards (NICs).

Configurable spread-spectrum clock generation reduces the EMI issues and the chip is compliant with PCI Express from version 1 to 6.

SiTime’s Chorus family of clock generators is sampling to strategic customers now, with general sampling availability in 2H 2024.


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