The wireless and portable markets continue to drive new product development for smaller and lower cost packaging in the crystal and oscillator market. Frequency control manufacturers also face growing demand for lower current consumption and higher frequency requirements. In many cases, oscillator manufacturers such as Crystek, Ecliptek, Fox, NDK and SaRonix continue to shrink the size of their clock oscillators down to 3.2 x 5 mm and crystal packaging as small as 3.2 x 1.2 mm.
For higher performance devices such as temperature-compensated crystal oscillator
(TCXOs) and voltage-controlled crystal oscillators (VCXOs), they continue to offer higher frequencies and smaller packaging.
Anything running on a battery will need to draw less power so the lower the supply voltage the better, said Mark Stoner, director of marketing, for Ecliptek Corp. (Costa Mesa, Calif.) Designers all want lower current, smaller packaging, tighter stabilities, and higher performance, he said.
As products get smaller and portable, the most important considerations become size and power, agreed Roger Burns, engineering sales manager for the western region at Fox Electronics (Ft. Myers, Fla.).
Although the small 3.2 x 2.5-mm package is becoming more popular, designers will continue to use the least expensive surface-mount 7.5 x 5.0-mm package if it fits into their designs, Burns noted.
A key challenge in reducing package size is maintaining performance of the oscillators. A good example is Crystek Crystals Corp.'s (Ft. Myers, Fla.) new mini voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) that provides comparable performance of larger package sizes in a
0.25 x 0.25 x 0.079 in. (6.35 x 6.35 x 2.0 mm) footprint. Plus, the new VCO supports a wide frequency range from 100 MHz to 1 GHz, with higher frequencies under development. The new CVC025 also features excellent electrical performance and typical phase noise performance of -105 dBc/Hz at 10 KHz offset at 1 GHz.
Applications for the CVCO25 include digital radio equipment, fixed wireless access, satellite communications systems, base stations, personal communications systems, portable radios and test instruments. For more information visit: < href="http://www.eeproductcenter.com/passives/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=51201556">www.eeproductcenter.com/passives/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=51201556
Ecliptek has also made performance improvements to its programmable oscillator lines. The company has shrunk the package size of its EB13D1 programmable oscillator while offering low jitter performance as low as 1 picosecond (ps) maximum for frequencies greater than 70 MHz. Stoner said the 5 x 3.2-mm package is gaining in popularity for its programmable oscillator line.
Earlier this year, Ecliptek also significantly reduced the jitter of its EPO series to ± 10 picosecond (ps) typical, where it was previously ±100 ps. Available in a frequency range of 1.000 MHz to 106.250 MHz, these devices feature stability to 20 ppm, a tri-state or power down function, and a 50 ± 5% duty cycle. The operating temperature range is -40°C to 85°C.
Ecliptek also recently introduced a new low electromagnetic interference (EMI) programmable oscillator line that can be delivered in three days. The EPS series is available in six or four-pad surface-mount and 14- and 8-pin DIP through-hole packages. Since the devices reduce EMI at the clock source instead of at locations later in the clock stream, it can potentially eliminate the need for supplemental shielding enclosures and/or filtering components, said the company.
The 3.3-volt EPS series is available in a frequency range of 14.31818 to 166.000 MHz with a ±100-ppm frequency stability. It features programmable spread percentages of ±0.25% and ±2.00% for center spread and -0.5% to -4.0% down spread. It also provides a spread spectrum enable/disable function and tri-state or power down options for high impedance output.
NDK America (Belvidere, Ill.) has also introduced a host of crystals and oscillators in smaller package sizes. These include the NZ2520 oscillator, housed in a 2.5 x 2.0 mm package, the NX2520 crystal, packaged in a 2.5 x 2.0 mm footprint, and the NT3225 TCXO in a 3.2 x 2.5 mm package.
NDK's NZ2520 clock oscillator is housed in the industry's smallest package size of 2.5 x 2.0 x 0.9 mm.
Lower cost solutions
Many frequency control manufacturers are also focused on reducing cost in many of their new component designs. Plus, they are working on beefing up performance.
Fox Electronics, for example, has recently introduced a new quartz crystal packaging technology for both crystals and oscillators that will offer a cost reduction of 20% or more as compared with conventional ceramic packages. This new package may also solve the recurring problems with ceramic shortages.
The new FQ Series, utilizing a proprietary crystal packaging technique, is initially offered in three crystal package sizes, each available in 2- or 4-pad configurations. These include the 10 x 4.5 mm (FQ1045), 5 x 7 mm (FQ7050) and 6 x 3.5 mm (FQ6035), with smaller sizes and oscillator versions now under development. For more information on the FQ series, visit: www.eeproductcenter.com/passives/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=52600377
A key area of focus for SaRonix is adapting its internal silicon design capabilities from parent company Pericom into its oscillator lines. It will allow SaRonix to develop its own custom silicon products that provide increased performance, specifically for better jitter performance, and lower cost as frequencies climb, said Tom Davidson, director of marketing, for SaRonix Corp., a Pericom Semiconductor Company (San Jose, Calif.). Pericom acquired SaRonix about one year ago.
SaRonix is nearly ready to roll out a replacement for its older SEL381 series of clock oscillators. Incorporating Pericom silicon, the new 3.3-volt PECL SEL383 crystal clock oscillator offers three times better jitter performance and a lower cost, which is particularly important in higher frequency ranges above 100 MHz, said Davidson.
The new SaRonix 3.3-volt PECL SEL383 crystal clock oscillator offer three times better jitter performance and a lower cost than the company's older SEL381 series, which is important at higher frequencies.
SaRonix also has two other new products planned for roll out in January 2005. The new 3.3-volt CMOS/TTl S1613 crystal clock oscillator features low jitter, tight stability and a small package. The new oscillators, available in a 1.8-mm high ceramic package, offers a frequency range of 1.544 to 125 MHz with stabilities of ±20, ±25, ±50 and ±100. Total jitter in the 1.544 to 80 MHz range is 50 ps peak-to-peak maximum and 30 ps peak-to-peak maximum in the 80+ to 125 MHz range.
The new low voltage 2.5-volt LVCMOS S1614 series crystal clock oscillators also provide low jitter and tight stability along with low power. The series is currently available in the 1.544 to 70 MHz range with a higher frequency range planned for up to 125 MHz. Total jitter is rated at 30 ps peak-to-peak over the total frequency range of 70 to 125 MHz.
Also slated for launch in January 2005 is SaRonix's new Stratum 3 S3T01 series TCXOs with an optional voltage control function that provides full compliance to the Stratum 3 holdover specification. This S3T01 TCXO will replace more expensive legacy OCXOs.
The new TCXO will offer both lower cost and lower power, said Brandon K. Ogilvie, senior product marketing manager for SaRonix. It will consume a maximum of 20 milliamps at 3.3-volt supply with a CMOS output as compared to an OCXO that can consume one to five watts of power, depending on the ambient temperature at any given moment in time, he said.
Available in frequencies from 12.8 to 20 MHz, these S3T01 devices are designed for clock references in timing control for telecommunications networks including wireless base stations, line cards in SONET/SDH network equipment and timing control cards in T1/E1, T3/E3, multi-service and SONET/SDH network equipment. Initial mass production is underway and if test results are favorable expect availability within the next two months.
NDK America also has a Stratum 3 TCXO line under development that touts the same benefits smaller package, less power and lower cost. This new 7311AC device will be available from NDK by third quarter 2005. Packaged in a 7.0 x 5.2-mm package, the new device also touts current consumption of 20 mA maximum. The frequency is specified at 12.8 to 20 MHz.
However, in the network arena, these designers are looking for more value-added components, said Ken Hennessey, field application engineer for NDK America Inc. They want a full module, he said.
As a result, NDK has a new UHF module under development that will be available by the end of 2005. The UHF digital transceiver module is designed for short-range RF-ID applications such as keyless entry and remote engine start. Packaged in a 15 x 10 mm footprint, the new module integrates the baseband (A/D converter, D/A converter, de-modulator, modulator, de-spreader, code generator, spreader), RF-IC section (power amplifier, low noise amplifier, transmit mix, low IF filter, and software ICs) and UHF band crystal filter.
UHF digital transceiver block diagram
Crystek Crystals Corp.
Call (800) 237-3061
Call (714) 433-1200
Call (888) GET-2-FOX
NDK America Inc.
Call (800) 635-9825
SaRonix Inc, a Pericom Semiconductor Company (San Jose, Calif.)
Call (408) 435-0800