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Tuning-fork crystal unit is ultraslim at 0.48mm

Posted: 16 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tuning-fork crystal chip? QMEMS? smart cards?


Epson Toyocom Corp. claims to have developed the world's thinnest kHz-band crystal unit. The tuning-fork crystal unit, the FC-13E, has a maximum thickness of just 0.48mm.

The FC-13E surpasses even the company's own FC-13F, which, with a maximum thickness of 0.6mm, was the thinnest crystal unit in its class when it was announced in January 2007. Epson Toyocom was able to further slim the profile of its crystal units in this class by leveraging its QMEMS technology to develop an ultra-miniature tuning-fork crystal chip, as well as by capitalizing on its proprietary packaging technology.

The market for high-function, secure smart cards has been expanding in recent years. This expansion has driven strong demand for thin cards, most notably credit cards, equipped with a time management function, the key component of which is a kHz-band crystal unit. The challenge for crystal device manufacturers was thus to develop an SMD-type kHz-band crystal unit with a thickness of less than 0.5mm.

Epson Toyocom is answering these demands with the FC-13E, which the company achieved by leveraging its QMEMS technology to develop an ultra-miniature tuning-fork crystal chip that is precision mounted in a package. The material thickness of the package has been optimized, and the package is hermetically sealed with a gold-tin alloy.

The FC-13E is approximately 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, the FC-13F. By trimming the maximum thickness down to 0.48mm from 0.6mm, Epson Toyocom is enabling the realization of secure, thin smart cards equipped with a time management function. Frequency tolerance, an indicator of accuracy, is 100 x 10-6. The FC-13E is RoHS compliant. The FC-13E will enter volume production this month.

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