Features and Applications of MEMS Clock Generators

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Clock Generators are timing components which integrate the clock functionality of many different discrete devices into one semiconductor component. They offer the traditional semiconductor benefits of integration, lower cost, smaller size, and full customization with minimal additional expenses.

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Features and Applications of MEMS Clock Generators

  1. 1. Features and Applications of MEMS Clock GeneratorsHistory of Clock GeneratorsClock Generators are timing components which integrate the clock functionality of many differentdiscrete devices into one semiconductor component. They offer the traditional semiconductor benefits ofintegration, lower cost, smaller size, and full customization with minimal additional expenses.Historically, the use of clock generators started with the expansion of the PC motherboard market in theearly 1990s. At that time, the functionality of a PC motherboard was increasing dramatically – audio,networking, high-end-graphics, video and various interfaces were being added to a PC. Each of theseadditional components (in addition to the core processor and memory) required a clock, whichnecessitated the use of as many as 7 clocking devices on a single PC motherboard. Semiconductorcompanies started developing clock generators which integrated the clocking function of these 7 devicesinto one or two clock generators, which resulted in the benefit of lower cost and smaller footprint.MEMS-based Clock Generators are completely IntegratedEvery clock generator requires multiple PLLs (Phase Locked Loops) which are used to generate anyspecified frequency from a standard fixed frequency reference, which is usually an external clock sourcesuch as a quartz crystal or oscillator. With the advent of MEMS resonators (which are available in theform of semiconductor die and can be completely integrated inside a plastic package), the need for havingan external crystal or clock source goes away. Thus, a MEMS clock generator provides a completelyintegrated solution with no external reference clocks. A MEMS clock generator also eliminates thematching of the crystal with the clock generator circuit, which is a time-consuming problem to solve andmay sometimes affect the performance of the system.Features and Benefits of MEMS Clock Generators 1) Completely integrated solutions, no external components required. MEMS resonator die (reference) is integrated inside package with analog circuit. 2) Functionality of 3 – 6 clock generators in one 7.0x5.0mm package, results in up to 66% board space savings. 3) Independent operating voltage on each of the PLLs, eliminates the need for external level translators, thus reducing component count and cost 4) Mixed differential and LVCMOS outputs in the same device, addressing the need for different clocking devices in complex systems. 5) Available spread spectrum capability to reduce system EMI and pass compliance testing.Learn more about :- Silicon Oscillator , Crystal Oscillator , Voltage Controlled Oscillator & DifferentialOscillator

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