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Renesas Introduces I3C Smart Switches for Next-Generation Server, Storage, and Communication System Applications

Technology Cover
Post Date: 2022-08-04, Renesas Electronics America

     Renesas Electronics, a global supplier of semiconductor solutions, today announced the first I3C smart switch device RG3MxxB12 series for next-generation server motherboards and other infrastructure equipment—new chips that greatly improve scalability and reliability while reducing high performance The complexity of the system design enables an I3C control plane network with multiple initiator controllers (such as CPUs and baseboard management controllers/BMCs) to support full-speed operation in large physical networks by improving signal integrity and reducing capacitive loading. Target. The new products also support heterogeneous designs by providing IO level translation and protocol translation for mixed I2C/SMBus and I3C networks.

    The MIPI I3C® bus serves as an extensible control bus interface for connecting peripherals to processors or other management controllers. It has the advantages of high performance, enhanced reliability, extremely low power consumption and low electromagnetic interference (EMI). These features also enable new system capabilities, such as enabling advanced telemetry, failover, sideband safety, component certification, and faster startup times.

      Current system designs typically use the traditional I2C protocol and simple field-effect transistor (FET) switches to connect the initiator and target devices on the motherboard. This approach does not scale to I3C speeds, and fundamentally limits system management to the most basic functions. Renesas' new I3C smart switch product family allows the expansion of two initiator (upstream) ports to four, eight or more target ports at maximum speed with full protocol awareness and compliance. The new Renesas product family also provides seamless transition between I3C and I2C devices, allowing plug-and-play compatibility of legacy devices on the control plane network. This I3C smart switch is the result of close collaboration between Renesas and Intel teams. Starting from conceptual conception, specification definition, and other links before tape-out, it continues to software development, component and system-level verification after tape-out.

      "As a pioneer in I3C hub and expander technology for the DDR5 DIMM market, Renesas has always believed in the potential of this technology to be used across the entire platform," said Rami Sethi, vice president of the Data Center Business Unit at Renesas Electronics. "We are proud to partner with Intel. , realizes this vision with a new family of I3C smart switches. These devices will enable our users and partners to bring advanced platform management capabilities to every subsystem within the rack."

      Vik Tymchenko, Intel vice president and general manager of Platform Hardware Engineering, said: "We are pleased that Renesas and Intel have entered into a strong collaboration to define basic circuit solutions for the expanding use cases of MIPI I3C-based applications. Similar to I3C smart switch products New products like this family help remove the fundamental limitations faced by MIPI I3C interfaces in data center hardware. With I3C switches, we can increase the capacitance and devices supported by the I3C network.”

     Renesas, a global leader in high-performance computing peripherals, its new I3C smart switch product family will be the first choice for Renesas DDR5 I3C expander, Registered Clock Driver (RCD), Power Management IC (PMIC), Serial Detect (SPD) Complementary to solutions such as hubs, temperature sensors and data buffers.

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