I3C multiplexers and IO expanders deliver increased flexibility in a small footprint

10-06-2020 | Renesas | Semiconductors

Renesas Electronics Corporation has four new I3C Basic bus extension products for control plane designs across a mixture of applications, including data centre and server applications, as well as enterprise, factory automation, and communications equipment. The new products incorporate the IMX3102 2:1 bus multiplexer, IMX3112 1:2 bus expander, and IXP3114 and IXP3104 1:4 general-purpose IO expanders, which support up to 12.5MHz speeds as well as integrated thermal sensor capability.

These new products give maximum design flexibility for engineers implementing I3C Basic as a system management bus in applications where there may be multiple masters, a large number of endpoint devices, and long traces – all of which can impact bus complexity and signal integrity. The integrated thermal sensor provides for better integration of thermal management into the bus design itself and can decrease the amount of dedicated thermal sensor endpoints. Next-generation compute architectures are driving the transition to I3C as the system management bus of choice following the JEDEC standard adoption of I3C Basic for the DDR5 memory sideband. The increase in memory subsystem complexity with distributed power management, telemetry and thermal management at the sub-channel level requires higher sideband bus bandwidth.

Furthermore, emerging needs for advanced thermal control loops, security and component authentication, and more robust fault tolerance and recovery are driving similar needs for a high bandwidth interface across the entire server control plane. I3C Basic provides an ideal solution to serve all of these needs. It enables system management architectures to provide granular information about the server resource status during bootup and runtime. This enables system managers to perform effective workload migration and server load balancing to significantly optimise server utilisation.

“The complexity of intelligent platform management in modern data centre equipment has finally outstripped the capabilities of decades-old interfaces like I2C and SMBus,” said Rami Sethi, vice president, Data Center Business Division at Renesas. “We are excited to offer an entire lineup of I3C bus extension devices for large-scale, high-speed control plane designs that enable sophisticated capabilities for environmental control, advanced telemetry, security, and fault recovery.”

By Natasha Shek