When the timing is right – and it is that time again – ipXchange loves to beat our audience over the head with how MEMS-based timing devices are superior to quartz-based ones. In short, quartz suffers from poor/unstable performance in environments where there is mechanical shock and vibration, or changes in temperature.
When it comes to networking and datacentres, any discrepancies in timing can result in corrupted data and poor user experience, especially when people are crowding the data traffic at a concert or live sports event. With the rollout of 5G infrastructure, that timing needs to be 10x as precise as for 4G, so if you’re going to try that with quartz, you’re going to have a bad time.
Long-time readers might remember that ipXchange hosted SiTime on our stand at Embedded World, thanks to our connections through our sister company TKO. That time, we were celebrating SiTime’s Emerald OCXOs (Oven-Controlled Oscillators), which offer superior stability over quartz and are programmable from 1 MHz to 60 MHz. SiTime’s new Epoch OCXOs blow those specs out of the water – for a programmable output at 10 MHz to 220 MHz – with ±1 ppb frequency stability over temperature and 7.5x better daily aging than the Emerald devices.
In real-world testing, Epoch devices are shown to have 2x the holdover of quartz OCXOs, meaning that continuity of network services is greatly improved when other timing sources within the system are impacted. With significant power and space savings when compared to legacy quartz alternatives – 3x power reduction and 9x footprint reduction respectively – it seems like a no-brainer to give SiTime’s latest MEMS-based timing solution a try, if not to future-proof your network, then to simply boost your green initiatives; care to wonder how much energy is wasted trying to stabilise quartz timing through traditional OCXOs?
And if you’re not building datacentre and networking devices for 5G, we’re sure the improved shock-and-vibration performance of these Epoch devices will be a great fit for aerospace and industrial applications, if you really want to push them to their limits – That’s a very different kind of 5 G!
Learn more about SiTime’s Epoch OCXOs on our board page below, where you can apply to be an early adopter of the technology for your next commercial project.