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SiTime's MEMS oscillators overcome quartz limitations

15 Apr 2013  | Steve Taranovich

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A family of 32kHz MEMS oscillators was recently introduced by SiTime. Set to replace legacy quartz crystal resonators, the SiT15xx MEMS oscillators are aimed at mobile applications, such as smartphones and tablets, which require small size and low power.

The latest line of MEMS oscillators from SiTime overcomes the limitations of quartz-based devices. The solutions offer area savings of 85 per cent, cuts power by 50 per cent and are 15 times more reliable, all of which enable smaller, lower power and longer lasting mobile electronics.

SiT15xx MEMS

The SiT153x family replaces quartz crystal resonators and operates from a 1.2V to 3.63V regulated power supply, making them ideal for smartphones that use a coin cell or supercap battery backup. The SiT154x family also replaces quartz crystal resonators and operates from a 2.7 to 4.5V unregulated LiIon battery. More details on the devices are below.

  • SiT1532/42—32.768kHz MEMS oscillators in a 1.5 x 0.8mm chip scale package (CSP), which is an industry first
  • SiT1533/43—32.768kHz MEMS oscillators in a 2.0 x 1.2mm package that is pin compatible with quartz resonators
  • SiT1534/44—programmable MEMS oscillators that support frequencies from 1Hz to 32.768kHz and are available in both the 1.5 x 0.8mm CSP and the 2.0 x 1.2mm packages.
  • SiTime claims that all of these devices offer many significant benefits over quartz, as listed below:
  • Smallest board area—SiTime claims that the CSP offers area savings of 70 per cent over the smallest quartz package that is sampling today
  •  SiT15xx

    Figure 1: SiT15xx is footprint compatible with a crystal resonator. Pin compatibility offers risk mitigation for high volume customers.


    Figure 2: The oscillator output replaces crystal resonators, eliminates the need for load capacitors, minimises board area and also offers a more robust system start-up in extreme temperatures.

  • Power savings—Supply current of only 0.75microamps (typical) is 50 per cent better than an equivalent quartz solution
  • Thinnest—0.55mm is ideal for smartphones
  • NanoDrive—A unique, programmable, low swing output that minimises power and directly interfaces to the oscillator / RTC circuit in the downstream processor or PMIC.
  • Best frequency stability—±20 PPM at room temperature and ±100 PPM over 40° C to +85°C ensures accurate timekeeping
  • Best robustness 30 times better than quartz
  • Best reliability—500 million hours MTBF (2 FIT), 15 times better than quartz
  • In addition to smartphones and tablets, the SiT15xx family is ideal for devices that require small size and low power such as fitness monitoring and watch products, medical monitoring and wellness devices, sport camcorders, wireless keypads and mouse devices.

    Datasheet for the SiT15xx family can be accessed here.

    - Steve Taranovich

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