LAKE TAHOE, Nev.—Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are studded with micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) sensors, arguably the prime mover behind their success. However, MEMS oscillators have yet to provide their timing signals, which are still dependent on quartz crystals.
Now SiTime Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) claims to have penetrated the mobile market for the first time with a tiny, low power and inexpensive MEMS realtime clock chip.
"Ours is the world's first MEMS oscillator specifically designed for the mobile market," said Piyush Sevalia, vice president of marketing at SiTime. "We already have an 80 percent market share of the MEMS oscillator market, but think we can extend that lead further by entering the mobile space. I can't name names yet, but we already have several mobile phone customers committed to using our new MEMS realtime clock chip."
The new SiT15xx provides the realtime 32kHz clock for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, replacing the quartz crystals providing that function today. SiTime claims it is 85 percent smaller, uses 50 percent less power, and is 15 times more reliable than quartz crystals.
Available in standard packages—including an ultra-small 1.5-by.8 millimeter chip scale package (CSP)—the device provides realtime clocks ranging from 1 Hz to 32.768 kHz. The CSP, which measures just 0.55 millimeter thick, offer stability of plus or minus 20 parts per million at room temperature and is estimated to have a lifetime of 500 million hours—15-times better than quartz, according to SiTime.
SiTimes' tiny MEMS oscillator's provides realtime clock functions for mobile devices like smartphones.