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MEMS oscillator range is ‘most highly integrated’

In a move which is said to 'fill a hole' in its timing technology portfolio, Silicon Labs has launched what it says is the most highly integrated MEMS based oscillators currently available. The devices are intended to replace general purpose crystal oscillators in cost sensitive, high volume applications.

Called the Si50x range, the parts are manufactured using the company's CMEMS technology, which allows MEMS structures to be built directly on top of standard cmos wafers.

Mike Petrowski, general manager of the company's timing solutions business, said: "Other MEMS based solutions are two die. Integration not only has cost advantages and makes it easier for us to scale to volume, it also gives the best performance." Petrowski added CMEMS oscillators can be supplied in less than two weeks, compared with 12 weeks for quartz based devices.

The Si50x oscillators are said to support any frequency between 32kHz and 100MHz, with frequency stability options of ±20, ±30 and ±50ppm across the extended commercial and industrial temperature ranges.

Four products have been announced. The Si501 is a single frequency oscillator with output enable (OE) functionality, while the dual frequency Si502 boasts OE and frequency select (FS) functionality. The quad frequency Si503 supports with FS technology. The fourth device, the Si504, is fully programmable between 32kHz and 100MHz via a single pin interface.

All devices feature passive temperature compensation, achieved by making the resonator from a combination of SiGe and SiO2. "Both materials have different temperature performance," said Petrowski. "SiGe gets harder as it cools, while SiO2 gets softer. Their interaction over temperature minimises frequency drift."

Graham Pitcher

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