PORTLAND, Ore. — SiTime is claiming a 30-times boost in stability for its micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) oscillators, which it characterizes as "flat" over the entire temperature range. TempFlat oscillators vary as little as 20 parts per million (ppm) today, but SiTime also claims to have a clear roadmap to parts per billion (ppb) stability in the near future.
"For many oscillator applications TempFlat alone will enable high-precision operation without any temperature compensation circuitry at all," Piyush Sevalia, vice president of marketing at SiTime, told EE Times:
For example, TempFlat MEMS resonators are already being used in SiTime's SiT15xx family of 32-kHz oscillators for SmartPhones, which offer frequency stability of 20 to 100 parts per million. And with TempFlat MEMS-based resonators and new analog circuitry, SiTime expects to achieve five parts per billion frequency stability over temperature in the future.
SiTimes' TempFlat keeps MEMS oscillators steady -- within 20 parts per million on some models -- which is 5 to 10 times better than quartz.
SiTime is keeping its cards close to its vest regarding the details of how its TempFlat technology works, but the variables are well known -- materials, resonator design, and compensation. SiTime has already demonstrated a 100 ppb stability with a temperature-compensated MEMS design, but generally MEMS does not yet participate in ppb applications requiring the stability of a quartz temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO). By expanding its TempFlat technology with clever analog compensation circuitry, SiTime is aiming to offer MEMS versions for the entire range of quartz timing applications, expanding its reach into the ppb timing chip markets for base stations, small cells, and optical networking.