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The best of both worlds

Putting the heat on txcos to get oxco levels of performance. By Karl Ward.

Mobile, battery powered and remote applications – such as cellular basestations, satellite communications, secure radio and GPS – have seen rapid growth over the last few years. Even broader deployment is expected as advancing technology makes new devices and systems possible. However, as generally happens when technologies enter the mainstream, increasing competition is putting continuing pressure on both system and component prices, whilst demands for better performance grow louder.

In mobile communications, signal quality is a key issue; mobile 'phone users, for example, will readily testify that they would benefit from improved reception in low signal strength areas. In GPS and other positioning systems, such as distress beacons, a key demand is better positional accuracy, especially in the military sphere. Whilst both requirements can be addressed by improving the stability of the frequency reference source, this has an impact on the size and power consumption of the component, as well as on its cost.

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Graham Pitcher

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