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Sand 9 claims piezoelectric MEMS better than quartz

20 Nov 2013

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Sand 9 has introduced what it touts as the first piezoelectric MEMS timing system for communications infrastructure, industrial, and military applications. The company says the solution, called TM651, features several advantages over quartz and electrostatic MEMS systems in terms of precision timing. The product is based on Sand 9's patented Temperature Compensated MEMS Oscillator (TCMO) platform. Its architecture is made up of a piezoelectric MEMS resonator hermetically bonded to an RF ASIC containing oscillator and temperature compensation circuitry.

According to the company, the TM651 exceeds the performance of quartz in several ways, offering exceptional activity dip suppression, superior shock and vibration immunity, and outstanding electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection. The end result is a reliable timing source that enables better system design, quality, reliability, and performance. The TM651 also provides 100 times better electromechanical coupling over conventional electrostatic MEMS architectures. This produces a higher signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio, supporting far greater performance than any other MEMS solution.

"While every electronic application needs a timing device in order to function, quartz-based products have been historically slow to evolve," said Vince Graziani, CEO, Sand 9. "The TM651 is a major step forward in that evolution. It delivers greater precision and higher reliability than competitive solutions, which is critically important for large communications infrastructure systems, such as data centre switches, Ethernet communications and point-to-point radios—applications for which packet loss or loss of signal is simply not acceptable. These attributes are equally crucial for thousands of different high-value industrial and military applications."

Sand 9 is working closely with a number of analogue semiconductor partners to provide reference designs for their synthesiser and timing products.

The TM651 is currently sampling to lead customers, and will be ramping to mass production in Q1 2014. It is available in an industry-standard 3.2 mm x 2.5 mm x 1.2 mm LGA package.




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