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MEMS resonator eliminates need for quartz

Posted: 02 Dec 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS? resonator? clocks?

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SiTime Corp. unveils a MEMS resonator that eliminates the need for an external time base such as a quartz crystal for real-time clocks. Offered as a bare-die to CMOS chipmakers, the SiT1052 resonator can be integrated inside a semiconductor vendor's own plastic package.

The quartz resonator market already tops $2 billion, according to SiTime, because they are used to create real-time clocks for microprocessors, microcontrollers, low-power radios, sensor nodes, watches, smart cards and ASSPs for portable, handheld and other consumer applications.

According to the company, its MEMS resonators come at a lower price and ten-times smaller size, thus, it can replace the quartz crystal for a real-time clock in all applications. Because it can be incorporated inside existing chip packages, the resonators reduce chip count. SiTime supplies all the necessary IP for the amplification and compensation circuitry that conditions the raw resonator output for 5ppm accuracy. ?SiTime claims it has formed key partnerships with semiconductor makers for the SiT1052 resonator. ?The device uses a basic clock frequency of 524kHz that it divides by 16 to achieve a standard 32.768kHz real-time resonator that can be combined with an SoC, ASIC or ASSP using wire-bonding or flip-chip plastic packaging. The 0.5mm2 is supplied on wafers with a known-good-die map and can withstand up to 70Gs of vibration and up to 50,000Gs of shock, 10-times greater than quartz crystals, according to SiTime.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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