Kandou claims USB4 retimer is first work across all SoC platforms

Claimed to be the only commercially available USB4 retimer to work across all SoC platforms, the KB8001 is the first product release from Kandou’s Matterhorn family of USB-C multi-protocol retimers with USB4 support.

Production silicon samples are available for KB8001, the first in the Matterhorn family of versatile retimers for host and device applications. According to Kandou, it supports long reach with no compromise on signal integrity to give system designers more flexibility in system development and USB4 implementation. There are enhanced display graphics, faster data transfer between USB4-connected devices for an improved user experience and improved battery life for mobile products.

Kandou’s Matterhorn solutions follow the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) specification for USB4. Target consumer applications include desktop and mobile PCs, tablets and peripheral devices.

The KB8001 demonstrates the ability of Kandou’s low power SerDes technology to extend the length of PCB traces while maintaining low latency. It can be located up to approximately 16 inches (400mm) away from the main host SoC using low-cost PCB materials while maintaining signal integrity. The result is reduced overall system and development costs, confirms Kandou.

The KB8001 is available in a compact 81-pin 4.0 x 4.0mm footprint which is suitable for smaller form factor designs including ultra-slim notebooks.

Matterhorn’s flexible architecture enables support for various source and sink orientation options. It also supports multiple protocols, including USB4 Gen2 and Gen3 signalling at 20 and 40Gbits per second, USB 3.2 Gen 1 and Gen 2 Super Speed signalling at 5.0, 10 and 20Gbits per second. There is also support for DisplayPort 1.4a at 8.1, 5.4, 2.7 and 1.62Gbits per second (x1, x2, x4) and for Thunderbolt 2 and 3 at 20.625 and 10.3125Gbits per second.

No external serial memory is required for retimer parameters, nor integrated DC blocking capacitors, and integrated pull-up and pull-down resistors on the low-speed wires, to reduce the bill of materials (BoM) cost. Autonomous Rx equalisation (ARxE) dynamically corrects for extreme channel characteristics providing a hardware- and software-independent retime which goes beyond the current USB-IF standards, says Kandou. On-chip diagnostics including eye scope functionality support easy debug during development and end-of-line testing for assured product quality.

KB8001 has been tested to verify compliance with relevant standards and interoperability with leading hosts and devices utilising USB4, Thunderbolt, USB3.2 and DisplayPort functionality.

Production samples of KB8001 are available now with volume production beginning in Q3 2021.


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