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NXP Introduces Bidirectional Voltage IC-bus Translation Buffer for High-Performance Server Applications

Enables IC voltage level translation at speeds of up to 1MHz


Eindhoven, Netherlands and San Jose, California NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced the availability of the PCA9617A Fast-mode Plus (Fm+) IC-bus buffer, designed for emerging server applications that use DDR4 SDRAM memory. This breakthrough voltage-translating bus buffer allows engineers to design next-generation server systems using new DDR4 technology with the IC-bus operating at up to 1 MHz, and voltage level translation of 0.8V on the CPU side to 2.5V on the SDRAM module side. NXP continues to drive innovation on the IC-bus, a widely adopted bus system management and control technology used in virtually all computing and enterprise equipment applications. The PCA9617A is the first Fm+ device specifically designed for servers. It operates up to 1 MHz with normal Fast-mode drive to allow operation on more heavily capacitive loaded buses, but is backward-compatible to Fast-mode and Standard-mode speeds.

The PCA9617A is a CMOS integrated circuit that provides voltage level shifting between 0.8V and 2.5V supply voltages for Fast-mode plus IC-bus or SMBus applications. While retaining all the operating modes and features of the IC-bus system during the level shifts, it also permits extension of the IC-bus by providing bidirectional buffering for both the data (SDA) and the clock (SCL) lines, one bus, split into two sections of 550 pF (max) at 1 MHz. Using the PCA9617A enables the system designer to buffer the load capacitance of the bus, and provide voltage level translation. The SDA and SCL pins are overvoltage tolerant and are high impedance when the PCA9617A is unpowered. Evaluation samples and demo boards are available immediately.

Our primary server architecture customers asked us to develop an improved version of the PCA9517A that was faster and supported lower voltages for their next-generation architecture. Working closely with them, we released the PCA9617A to allow their engineers to meet the complex specifications of their advanced server architectures, said Stephen Blozis, international product marketing manager, NXP Semiconductors. NXP will continue to develop innovative ways in which the IC-bus can be used in advanced systems and enable engineers involved in the design of complex architectures to reach new performance levels.


The PCA9617A is available in TSSOP8 (MSOP8) DP and smaller leadless HWSON8 TP packages.


The PCA9617ADP and PCA9617ATP are both are in volume production priced at $0.54 in 10K quantities. Evaluation samples and demo boards are available immediately.


PCA9617A product information

About NXP Semiconductors

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) creates solutions that enable secure connections for a smarter world. Building on its expertise in High Performance Mixed Signal electronics, NXP is driving innovation in the automotive, identification and mobile industries, and in application areas including wireless infrastructure, lighting, healthcare, industrial, consumer tech and computing. NXP has operations in more than 25 countries, and posted revenue of $4.36 billion in 2012. Find out more at


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