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Microsemi Expands its Clock Management Solutions Portfolio


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In an attempt to boost its presence in the data center and enterprise markets, leading semiconductor solution provider Microsemi Corporation (MSCC - Analyst Report) has launched a new family of high performance frequency synthesizers and rate converters.

The miClockSynth family comprises new ZL30260-ZL30267 devices capable of creating up to four independent frequency families of extremely low jitter clock signals from a clock input or crystal source, thereby simplifying board design to a great extent.

Technical Details

The devices feature two fractional-N analog phase locked loops (APLLs) with a fractional and integer divider, up to 10 differential or 20 single ended configurable outputs and spread-spectrum modulation mode.

These can be used in place of many synthesizers, multipliers and oscillators on the board. They increase design reliability and lower bill of materials (BOM). They have a graphical user interface and can pre-program devices using Microsemi's web tool, miClockDesigner.

The devices also offer any-rate frequency conversion with any input frequency between 0 MHz and 1.2 GHz to any output frequency less than 1 Hz and up to 1 GHz. They also feature a highly precise numerically controlled oscillator with steep output frequency and high resolution.

These can reduce the number of termination components by configuring output format with native LVDS, LVPECL, HCSL, 2xCMOS or HSTL.

Target Market

miClockSynth is targeted at communication, enterprise, data center and video markets. For this, the company has made the devices compatible with a number of applications such as enterprise switches and routers, servers, storage systems, wireless backhauls, wireless, base stations, access infrastructure, PCIe and 1G/2.5G/10G/25G/40G/25G/100G Ethernet.

Moves like these make sense given the increasing demand in the servers and storage network market. Per a report from market research firm Databeans titled, "Q4-2015 Timing Devices Market Tracker," this market is expected to grow to $63 billion with an average growth rate of 11% through 2020.

Our Take

Microsemi continues to invest heavily in research and development (R&D) in order to stay ahead of its peers. This is particularly necessary because of the markets in which it operates, since competition in these markets is stiff and industry standards are changing rapidly. To remain ahead of competitors like Texas Instruments (TXN - Analyst Report) , Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Analyst Report) and Analog Devices (ADI - Analyst Report) , Microsemi has to develop, manufacture, assemble, test, market and launch new products in a cost effective manner.

Microsemi increased R&D spending more than 4% from 2014 to 2015 and 1.5% from 2013 to 2014 while revenues increased 9.4% and 16.6%, respectively. Although the increased spending will hurt profits in the short term, we believe that it will prove to be beneficial in the long term.

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