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CMOS silicon oscillators provide reliable alternative to quartz or MEMS devices

Aeonsemi has pioneered a type of frequency-programmable silicon oscillator that can be made reliably in high volumes in a standard CMOS fabrication process. This simplifies the supply chain for oscillators, and provides the consistent quality that is lacking in quartz crystals

The obvious shortcomings of quartz crystal oscillators (XOs) have led various companies to develop alternative technologies for reliably generating a stable timing signal. The best known is SiTime, the manufacturer of MEMS-based oscillators.

The different approach of Silicon Valley-based Aeonsemi is well worth considering. Aeonsemi’s Arcadium™ technology produces pure CMOS silicon oscillators. Unlike quartz or MEMS-based XOs, a silicon oscillator contains no moving parts, which enables them to offer extremely high reliability – a benefit for market sectors such as automotive networking, telecoms and data centres that need to achieve high availability and a near zero-failure rate.

And because the Arcadium devices are produced in a wafer fab, they can be supplied predictably in high volumes to the ultra-high quality standards and consistency expected of any CMOS semiconductor product. This is in stark contrast to the wide device-to-device variability between quartz crystal-based oscillators.

Circuit innovations and compensation algorithms enable Aeonsemi’s products to achieve excellent phase jitter and frequency stability. Some Arcadium parts offer frequency programmability, and all offer flexible output driver configuration: this means OEMs can base multiple products on a single oscillator product, streamlining production processes and simplifying inventory management.

Aeonsemi’s Arcadium™

Frustrated by inconsistency of quartz crystals?

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