ReDriver boosts signal quality of high-speed PCIe 4.0 interfaces

24-04-2019 | Diodes Inc | Power

Diodes Incorporated has introduced a ReDriver for the server, storage, and networking market fields. The PI3EQX16904GL is a PCIe 4.0 compliant, 2.5Gbps to 16Gbps, four-differential channel, linear ReDriver. The device offers programmable linear equalisation, output swing, and flat gain to optimise performance over a mixture of physical media by diminishing inter-symbol interference. It is claimed to be the industry’s first available ReDriver to support PCIe 4.0 while being backwards-compatible with PCIe 3.0/2.0/1.0. Targeted applications for the device comprise storage and AI servers, 5G networking, workstations, CPU-to-network (PCIe NIC card) and CPU-to-storage (NVME) interconnects, and CPU-to-CPU interconnects within high-performance compute clusters.

The device, also known as a repeater IC, regenerates signals to boost the signal quality of high-speed interfaces. Faster signal frequencies give designers less signal margin with which to produce reliable, high-performance systems. Using equalisation, pre-emphasis, and other technologies, a single ReDriver can alter and correct for known channel losses at the transmitter and restore signal integrity at the receiver. This allows reliable communications with low bit error rates.

The device supports four 100Ohm differential current mode logic data I/Os and increases the signals across other distant data pathways on the user’s platform. Linear ReDrivers are generally used to obtain PCB trace extension while reducing cost and power consumption. They can also provide lower latency.

Needing a supply voltage of 3.3V ±0.3V, the device can work over an industrial temperature range of -40C to +85C.

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