Exar Rolls Out 5 Programmable Skew Components for Clock Distribution

3/2/2004 - Exar Corporation (Nasdaq: EXAR), a leading provider of high-performance, mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure, expanded its market-proven communications portfolio by entering the market for clock distribution devices. The Company unveiled a family of five new programmable skew clock components - including an industry first: smallest package (32-pin) and the highest frequency range (200MHz) of any 3.3V or 2.5V devices.

Whether regulating data transmissions or executing system instructions, clocks perform the critical role of producing precisely timed and repeated impulses that synchronize the overall system or other embedded applications. Driving the need for better performing clocks are faster processors, faster memory and increasingly lower voltage requirements, especially in new designs. Keeping pace with these trends has put new demands on clocks for lower jitter, better skew specifications and unprecedented device reliability. Leveraging a rich history of analog and Phase Lock Loop (PLL) design expertise on a growing market opportunity, Exar has developed a series of innovative new clock and timing devices targeting wireless base stations, network switches and routers, among others.

"Technology innovation, an Exar core value, can be seen in this family of five new programmable skew devices," said Dr. Roubik Gregorian, executive vice president and chief operating officer. "First in a series of new clocks to be offered by Exar, we have raised the industry bar for clock and timing devices by offering a robust feature set (seamless migration, simplified bill-of-materials, wide range of speed operations and more) that enables our customers to differentiate their products in the marketplace. This natural extension of Exar's Networking and Transmission offerings is built on our heritage of analog innovation and ingenuity seen in earlier generations of clock and timing devices that have performed extremely well worldwide."

Industry First
In addition to the other four new programmable skew clocks, Exar has developed an industry-first with the XRK4999. Three elements distinguish the component from competitive offerings: a 32-pin package for either 3.3V or 2.5V, a redundant input clock and the widest frequency range (3.75 to 200MHz) with a four bank skew and 250 pico second accuracy. Exar is the only company to offer these in a single solution, which is critical in designing highly integrated, small form factor components for leading edge Networking and Transmission applications.

Seamless Migration
Designers no longer have to contend with layout and/or clock tree redesigns to support industry-changing system voltage requirements. Customers do not have to carry two programmable skew clock inventories (single Bill-of-Materials [BOM]) for 3.3 or 2.5Volt applications. Exar's new devices eliminate these challenges. The XRK499x series (3.3V or 2.5V) clocks are offered in a small form factor (low-pin count), and standard pin-outs - this is in direct contrast to conventional devices that lack an easy (same form factor) migration path from 3.3Vto 2.5V. Designers are assured a seamless migration from 3.3V to 2.5V, and OEM customers can get their products to market faster than the competition.

"Exar's new devices are ideal for future 3.3V or 2.5V platforms where there is a need for the pin and functional-compatible programmable skew clocks," said Sergis Mushell, clock product line strategic marketing manager.

Product Highlights
The XRK499x portfolio of 3.3/2.5 Volt programmable skew clocks consists of five different products offering designers numerous options including different package sizes, faster speeds (output frequency of up to 200 MHz), plus better jitter and skew performance. Each product incorporates four pairs of programmable skew and zero propagation delay outputs that provide timing delays optimizing high-performance clock distribution circuits. The clock's skew control is guaranteed to be as low as 250 pico seconds, with selectable skew between outputs from 750 pico seconds to 18 nanoseconds. Also, all devices in the series have flexible output functions (divide-by-two, or four) which, when combined with the internal PLL, enable transmission of low-frequency clock impulses that can then be multiplied by a factor of two or four at the clock's destination. This flexibility means designers now have more options than before, and no longer have to contend with static, or fixed outputs.

The XRK4991 and XRK4991A are in 32-pin packages and have a frequency range of 3.75 to 100MHz with four bank skew, and are available with 250/500/750 pico second accuracy. In addition, the XRK49911 has a frequency range of 3.75 to 200MHz with 250 pico seconds accuracy. The XRK4993 is offered in a 28-pin package, and it has a frequency range of 3.75 to 100MHz with three bank skew and is available with 250/500/750 pico second accuracy.

Packages, Prices and Availability
In 1,000 piece quantities, for commercial temperatures the XRK4991/91A/93CJ-2 (250 pico second accuracy) are $8.71, XRK4991/91A/93CJ-5 (500 pico second accuracy) is $6.71 and XRK4991/91A/93CJ-7 (750 pico second accuracy) is $5.15. The XRK49911 in 1,000 piece quantities (commercial temperatures) are $10.46 (250 pico second accuracy), $8.05 (500 pico second accuracy), and $6.18 (750 pico second accuracy). The XRK4999 is $11.94 in 1,000 piece quantities. The parts are also available in the industrial temperature, at 1,000 piece pricing the XRK4991/91A/93IJ-5 (500 pico second accuracy) are $7.38, and $5.67 for the XRK4991A/93IJ-7 (750 pico second accuracy). Samples of all these products are available now.

About Exar
Exar Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAR) designs, develops and markets high-performance, analog and mixed-signal silicon solutions for the worldwide communications infrastructure. Leveraging its industry-proven analog design expertise, system-level knowledge and standard CMOS process technologies, Exar provides OEMs innovative, highly integrated ICs that facilitate the transport and aggregation of signals in access, metro and wide area networks. The Company's physical layer silicon solutions address transmission standards such as T/E carrier, ATM and SONET. The Company also provides one of the industry's most comprehensive families of serial communications solutions. Within this product offering, the low voltage and multi-channel universal asynchronous receiver transmitters are particularly well suited to support high data rate and increasing data transfer efficiency requirements for various industrial, telecom and computer server applications. Also, the Company offers a portfolio of clock generation and clock distribution devices for a wide range of communications systems. In addition, the Company designs, develops and markets IC products that address select applications for the video and imaging markets. The Company is based in Fremont, CA, had fiscal 2003 revenues of $67 million, and employs approximately 265 people worldwide. For more information about Exar visit www.exar.com.

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