MEMS Oscillator – Benefits of MEMS Oscillator
Over the past decade, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) have been very widely
adopted in electronics. While they started out as life-saving components in the Automotive
industry (air-bag sensors, tire pressure monitoring systems), they have recently been
adopted by many consumer electronic devices such as SmartPhones, Tablets, Digital
Cameras, gaming systems, etc. Typical components that are used in such systems include
sensors, gyroscopes, and microphones.
Over the past five years, MEMS Oscillators have been replacing quartz crystal oscillators in
electronics applications. MEMS oscillators offer the benefits of more features, higher
performance, faster availability, higher robustness and reliability and lower cost, and hence
their adoption is accelerating.
The advent of MEMS oscillators in electronic devices started with consumer electronic and
computing devices such as laptops, DVRs, set top boxes and digital cameras. Recently, with
the introduction of higher performance devices such as the Encore-based platform from
SiTime, MEMS oscillators are penetrating higher performance applications such as:
Telecom infrastructure – core routers based on SONET and Synchronous Ethernet and
optical networking systems require very stable devices, such as MEMS TCXOs (Temperature
Compensated Oscillators) for their high performance applications.
High performance storage applications such as Storage Area Networks and RAID systems
based on SATA, SAS and FibreChannel protocols have also recently adopted the use of
differential MEMS oscillators to replace high frequency SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) crystal
Wireless Applications, such as cellphone base-stations and repeaters are also adopting the
usage of differential and single-ended MEMS oscillators which require very high robustness
and reliability, as well as very low phase noise. MEMS VCXOs (Voltage Controlled Oscillators)
provide a level of pullability and fine-tuning that is required for synchronization of clock
signals, and are also used in such applications.
Benefits of MEMS Oscillators
Can be programmed for any signaling level such as LVPECL, LVDS, CML, HCSL, or
LVCMOS, supporting a variety of different products and applications
Programmable for any frequency within the operating range, which allows for
performance optimization and flexibility.
Production lead times of 3-5 weeks, which enables better inventory control and
management, flexibility in meeting upsides and simplified supply chain.
Programmable for any of the standard operating voltages such as 1.8V, 2.5V, 2.8V
and 3.3V, to interface with a wide variety of SOCs and ASSPs.
Frequency stability as low as 10 PPM for better system timing margin and reliability,
leading to longer life electronics. Better stability also offers improved immunity
against low frequency environmental noise that comes from power lines, fluorescent
lights and transformers.
Robustness and reliability as high as 50,000 G of shock resistance and 70 G of
vibration resistance and 500 Million hours of Mean Time Between Failure is ten
times better than quartz.
Learn more about :- Silicon Oscillator & Clock generators , Differential Oscillators