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Skipping a beat

Could you satisfy all your frequency needs with a single device? By Graham Pitcher.

It goes without saying that an electronic product is of no use without its heartbeat: the timing signal which keeps its operation on track. That signal invariably comes from a crystal oscillator of some description.
From the ubiquitous 32.768kHz crystal used to keep real time clocks ticking, to the complex devices featured in high speed communications systems, frequency management is at the heart of modern electronic systems.

Yet, according to Beat Kocher, manager of marketing and business development for Saronix, timing is everything in today's fast moving electronics business, with its ever shrinking product development cycles and the need to get product to market faster than ever before. "Few things are more maddening for the design or specifying engineer than a six week wait for prototyping parts." One thing he does see as worse is a component shortage during a heavy production run – especially when it involves an application specific part like a crystal oscillator.

Saronix' solution to this particular problem is a programmable oscillator, whose frequency, it claims, can be set in a matter of minutes. Kocher believes a 'one size fits all' device such as this is attractive to many engineers. "Obtaining a single multiuse part instead of stocking hundreds of individual devices offers a great deal of flexibility and potential savings."

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Graham Pitcher

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