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The heartbeat of electronics

Providing the pulse for electronics devices.

The electronics market is evolving continuously and, with it, demand grows for improved timing solutions, greater performance, more integration and faster response times. So it’s no surprise that electronics manufacturers are starting to target MEMS oscillators.
MEMS oscillators offer a range of benefits and this is why an increasing number of manufacturers are embracing the technology. Discera’s cto Wan-Thai Hsu explained: “Cost and integration are two major reasons why MEMS oscillators are now becoming ‘direct replacement’ parts for conventional quartz crystal oscillators. In the future, MEMS oscillators will play the role of ‘direct replacement’ on top of systems chips for optimisation of clock sources for electronic systems.”
Although quartz based products have dominated the frequency control market, Paul Fear, managing director with IQD Frequency Products, believes this new technology can successfully better the price and performance. “There have been minor successes in limited ranges such as ceramic resonators,” he said, “but nothing that has really challenged the dominance of quartz – until now.”
To adopt such a system can be an expensive undertaking, so manufacturers are following different paths. Piyush Sevalia, vp of marketing at SiTime, revealed: “SiTime has developed fundamental MEMS oscillator technology that uses standard, mature manufacturing processes and packaging. Our ‘MEMS-First’ process enables us to deliver cost effective, highly robust MEMS oscillators to the market place with shorter lead times, allowing customers to get to revenue faster. The fact that we are already engaged with hundreds of customers in nine different market segments is a testament to that fact.”

Author
Chris Shaw

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