Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI


PLL clock IC replaces expensive crystal oscillators

21 September 2005 Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI

ON Semiconductor has released to market a phase lock loop (PLL) IC designed to replace expensive crystal oscillators for clock generation in a variety of consumer and networking applications. A pioneer of PECL (positive emitter coupled logic) signalling, ON Semiconductor claims that its latest family of PLL ICs offers performance compatible to the most widely-used crystal oscillators at a fraction of the cost.

For applications ranging from VGA graphics cards to Fibre Channel clock generation, the traditional method for generating the master clock signal has been to implement a single crystal oscillator. Historically, crystal oscillators have offered better jitter performance than silicon-based devices. These canned oscillators are complex to manufacture, and so, are relatively expensive and require long lead times.

ON Semiconductor says the new NB4N507A is a high-performance silicon PLL that delivers jitter performance comparable to crystal oscillators but offers far more design flexibility, a lower overall cost and greatly reduced lead times. With accuracy of 100 parts per million (ppm), the NB4N507A is a preferable alternative to crystal oscillators with similar stability.

The NB4N507A generates a clock signal ranging from 50 MHz to 200 MHz via an inexpensive reference crystal. With a maximum RMS period jitter of less than 10 ps, it delivers half the jitter (or noise) of standard silicon PLL products. Being fully configurable, it also provides design flexibility. For example, says the manufacturer, a single device can be used to generate different frequencies within a system and can be re-used on future designs regardless of changes in timing requirements. In addition, silicon-based ICs like the NB4N507A are inherently much simpler to manufacture which leads to lower costs and lower lead times. The NB4N507A comes in a 16-pin SOIC package.



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