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Rubidium miniature atomic clock cuts need for heat sinks

Posted: 13 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsemi? rubidium? miniature atomic clock? LTE? base station?

Microsemi has introduced what it says is an enhanced Quantum rubidium miniature atomic clock (MAC) family that trumps wireless LTE base station and mission-critical defence infrastructure holdover requirements. Based on the company's coherent population trapping (CPT) technology, the Quantum MAC SA.3X line-up is one of the smallest, lightest and highest-performing MACs in the market, boasted the company.

Featuring mechanical robustness and temperature performance, the MAC SA.3X family is only 25 per cent of the volume of the nearest competing clock in the same category, stated the company. This small size, combined with its very low power consumption, makes the SA.3x series ideal for various platforms that mount directly on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA), eliminating the need for a heat sink or fan.

Microsemi said it designed the Quantum MAC SA.3X family specifically to meet essential frequency accuracy and stability requirements in applications that include wireless base stations, wire line network infrastructure, defence systems, and test and measurement instruments. These types of systems can benefit from the low-power Quantum MAC SA. 3X that provides the ability to operate across a wide range of temperatures, detailed Microsemi.

Quantum MAC SA.3X

The Quantum Rubidium MAC family claims to deliver superior holdover accuracy over extended time periods, exceeding all wireless LTE base station and mission-critical defence infrastructure requirements. The MAC-SA.3x will meet the LTE holdover requirements for several days. This innovative capability far exceeds, according to Microsemi, conventional quartz-based oscillators, which only meet holdover requirements for a few hours at most. This critical difference results in an improved mitigation solution during periods of GNSS vulnerabilities caused by jamming and outage.

The MAC SA.3X family features a compact design measuring 51mm x 51mm x 18mm and operates at 5W at 25C (14W max during warmup). It also flaunts superior atomic clock performance and rapid operational stability after turn-on, indicated the company.

The exclusive CPT technology does not use a lamp, but uses a laser that needs milliwatts versus the traditional rubidium lamp, which consumes power in watts. This CPT technology does not require a microwave resonator, also allowing for a smaller size than traditional rubidium that requires a resonant cell.

- Graham Prophet
??EE Times Europe

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