Diodes Incorporated Designs USB 3.2-Compliant ReDrivers to Enhance 10 Gbps Interfaces

February 21, 2020 by Gary Elinoff

The two-port PI3EQX1004E and the one-port PI3EQX1002E are said to be 64% smaller than competitive devices.

Diodes Incorporated has released two new "ReDrivers" aimed at applications in gaming devices, tablets, and desktop and laptop PCs.

The PI3EQX1002E and the PI3EQX1004E are targeted at maintaining signal integrity even in today’s communications environment of multi-gigabit transmission speeds, where designers have very little signal margin to work with.


 PI3EQX1002E and the PI3EQX1004E

The PI3EQX1002E and the PI3EQX1004E. Image used courtesy of Diodes Incorporated


The PI3EQX1004E is available in a 34-contact, 4.5 mm x 2.5 mm UQFN package. Its companion device, the PI3EQX1002E, comes in a 24-contact 2.5 mm x 2.5 mm UQFN package. 

Both devices are fully RoHS compliant and are halogen- and antimony-free.


What Is a ReDriver?

As described by Diodes Incorporated, ReDrivers, also known as repeater ICs, are purposed to improve the signal quality of high-speed communications interfaces. Through technologies such as pre-emphasis and equalization, ReDrivers can restore the integrity of the signal and assure reliable communications with low bit error rates.

They do so without acting as endpoints, which terminate and retransmit the signals, introducing latencies.


ReDrivers or repeater ICs

ReDrivers or repeater ICs. Image used courtesy of Diodes Incorporated


In the past, we covered other Diodes Incorporated ReDrivers. These include the PI3EQX12904A, which supports transmission over PCIe 3.0 and the PI3EQX16904GL for PCIe 4.0.


Differences in Two Models

The PI3EQX1002E is a one-port device. It supports two 100Ω differential common mode logic (CML) signal pathways: one channel for receive and one for transmit.


Block diagram of the PI3EQX1002E

Block diagram of the PI3EQX1002E. Image used courtesy Diodes Incorporated


The PI3EQX1004E supports four 100Ω differential common mode logic (CML) signal pathways. It is a two-port ReDriver, establishing two separate receive and transmit channels.


Block diagram of the PI3EQX1004E

Block diagram of the PI3EQX1004E. Image used courtesy Diodes Incorporated


Power Management

Because the ReDrivers are meant to operate in power-sensitive applications, judicious power management is critical. Each channel operates independently, and output activity is determined by its input signal level.

If a channel’s signal detector is idle for more than 7.3 ms, the receiver detection loop becomes active. Then, if no load is detected, that channel moves to its unplug mode. If it is merely inactive, that channel moves into a low-power, slumber mode. 

All reported currents are typical values.


Power management specifications of PI3EQX1002E and the PI3EQX1004E


The ReDrivers work with a supply voltage of 3.3 V ±0.3 V.


Equalization and Flat Gain

Equalization and flat gain are pin programmable on both of the ReDrivers. This, Diodes Incorporated claims, will enable improved device performance over a variety of environments and applications.  


Related Device

NXP’s PTN36001HX is a dual-channel USB 3.0 ReDriver IC. The device employs a 1.8 V supply voltage and draws 111 mA in active mode. The unit is available in a 1.25 mm × 2.1 mm × 0.35 mm X2QFN12 package.