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Renesas Announces I3C Intelligent Switch Devices

Published on May 31, 2022

Earlier today, the team at Renesas pulled back the curtain to reveal their newest device family: a line of 2:4 and 2:8 I3C Intelligent Switches.

RG3MxxB12

The RG3MxxB12 devices "enable intelligent management of CPI, BMC, DIMM, and other peripherals with significant performance and power benefits over other serial communication interfaces with easy-to-use bidirectional signaling capabilities in a small footprint (28pin QFN)."

A picture is worth a thousand words, the block diagram for this device does a great job conveying it's purpose:

rg3mxxb12a1 block diagram

Renesas has been very aggressive in adopting I3C in their ICs. This intelligent switch family of devices complements their SPD hubs, temperature sensors, PMICs, and DDR5 I3C expanders already in their catalog. This chip aims to enhance the scalability and reliability of next-generation servers and infrastructure equipment. The need for this device is driven by the increased speeds offered by I3C, the simple solutions previously used for I2C cannot be scaled up to I3C speeds.

This device was actually the result of close collaboration between Renesas and Intel from early concept, through definition and silicon fabrication, and even further onwards in software development and system level validation.

Samples are now available for request from Renesas, although the publicly-available datasheet is short on details. We've requested a few samples to add to our always-growing I3C test bench circuit - let's see if we'll get approved. The press release indicates the plan to have these devices available in Mass Production quantities in the first quarter of 2023.

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