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Oct 23rd, 2012
Crystal-less PCIe Clock Generators from Discera provide system BOM savings with best in class jitter and optimum signal integrity
Discera, Inc. a leading provider of silicon timing technology, announced the DSC557-03, the world’s first family of crystal-less PCIe Clock Generators, is shipping in volume production.
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The DSC557-03 is a crystal-less, two-output PCI express clock generator meeting Gen1, Gen2, and Gen3 specifications. It uses proven silicon MEMS technology to provide a PCIe compliant 100MHz differential output clocks with excellent jitter and stability over a wide range of supply voltages and temperatures.

“MEMS-based technology enables the Company to continue to deliver innovative products with ease of implementation and system cost savings in mind,” said Bruce Ddiamon, President and CEO of Discera.  “Discera is committed to provide best-in-class product innovations, rather than following the industry’s trends in developing crystal-based clock generators. According to our competitive analysis, this family of products delivers on that promise.“

Design flexibility is another benefit of Discera’s MEMS-based products. By eliminating the external quartz crystal, caps and tuning resistor, the DSC557-03 significantly enhances reliability and accelerates product development, while meeting stringent clock performance criteria for a variety of communications, storage, embedded and networking applications.

Jitter, temperature range, power consumption and a variety of available output formats are important design considerations for components designed for communications, storage and networking, and designers need the products that provide best in class capabilities in each category, see below.  And by eliminating the need for a crystal and other components, system board designers can reduce cost and board size.

  • 65% lower in jitter than IDT’s compatible part (0.15pS vs 0.48pS) and 85% lower than the 1pS(max) PCIe Gen3 spec.
  • DSC557-03 draws 25% lower power than IDT’s compatible device (60mA vs 85mA).
  • The DSC557-03 supports multiple differential formats

The comparable IDT part only support HCSL

  • The only PCIe clock generator in the industry that requires no external crystal and tuning caps.

"The merger of MEMS technology with PCIe clock generation is a logical path. In addition to meeting performance and reliability needs, the broad proliferation of the PCI express standard across the industry demands space and cost savings as well as strict stability across temperature.  We have addressed this evolution by eliminating the need for the external Quartz crystal and the tuning capacitors to allow for a more cost effective, robust implementation,”  said Elie Ayache, Discera’s V.P. of Business Development.

The DSC557-03 is available now in two different packages; a “drop-in’ replacement 16 pin TSSOP or a space-saving 14 pin QFP (77% less board space) ranging from $1.83 to $2.15 for 1K units.


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