Much has been said recently about the Internet of Things (IoT), but what does this mean with respect to AEL Crystals as a manufacturer and supplier of frequency control products?
IoT is a rapidly expanding concept of universally linked systems communicating together via the internet, usually with little or no human intervention. It has been variously branded as the 3rd industrial revolution after mechanisation and computing.
The implications of this technology has already seen a massive increase in home automation (smart thermostats and connected lighting being early adopters) driven by the convergence of people, devices and data across the web. These new products are using Bluetooth ®, Zigbee, Z-Wave, 6LowPAN and more recently the CSR Mesh / Bluetooth Low energy (BTLE), Sigfox and Thread protocols for data handling.
As more and more mainstream applications are adopting these communication standards, we as a Frequency Control product manufacturer are meeting the demand for reliable wireless frequency generation through increasing miniaturisation and consistent performance over a broad operating specification.
To this end AEL Crystals has recently released a wide range of world leading quartz based parts to offer further acceleration towards the small form factors required within this developing sector, some of these products include:
- 1.6mm x 1.0mm Watch Crystals (with ESR as low as 60k?)
- 1.6mm x 1.2mm 32.768Hz Oscillators
- 1.6mm x 1.0mm AT-Cut Crystal Resonators
- 1.2mm x 1.0mm AT Cut Crystal Resonators
- 1.6mm x 1.2mm Clock Oscillators
In addition to the above products, AEL Crystals are able to support customers with ultra-miniature TCXO, antenna and filter devices to complete their designs.
In order to enhance this range further, AEL Crystals has partnered with the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of MEMs timing technology, SiTime to add MEMs oscillators to the range of products available to customers.
Silicon based MEMS oscillators employ modern packaging technologies. MEMS oscillators consist of a MEMS resonator die mounted on top of a high-performance, programmable analog oscillator IC which is moulded into standard low-cost plastic SMD packages, with footprints compatible with quartz devices. To support the space requirements of ultra-small applications, SiTime MEMS oscillators are also available in ultra-small CSP (chip-scale packages). MEMS oscillators are based on a programmable architecture that allows customization of features including frequency, supply voltage and other features. There are no special or uncommon materials and processes used in the production of these devices all are drawn from standard semiconductor industry practice.
SiTime oscillators offer higher integration, new packaging options and other features that enable size reduction.
One particular area where the SiTime MEMs devices offer significant advantages is in the clocking for monitoring circuitry in which the real-time clock (32.768kHz) is always on and therefore a major factor in battery life for many IOT applications
The SiT15xx 32.768kHz MEMS timing solutions are designed for mobile, IoT and wearable applications where space and power are critical. These devices are available in a 2.0 x 1.2 mm (2012) SMD package for designs that require crystal resonator compatibility. SiT15xx 2012 oscillators (B) have power supply (Vdd) and ground (GND) pins in the centre area between the two large Crystal pads. For even smaller size, SiT15xx devices are available in a CSP (A) which lessens footprint by up to 80% compared to existing 2012 SMD crystal packages (C) and is 60% smaller than the 1610 (1.6 x 1.0 mm) Crystal package.
Other advantages that the SiTime MEMs devices can offer to designers are:
- Lowest power 32 kHz oscillator at 750nA core supply current (typical)
- Operation down to 1.2V to support coin-cell or supercap battery backup
- Programmable frequency down to 1 Hz to save power
- NanoDrive™ output reduces swing to consume up to 40% less power than full swing LVCMOS
- Improved shock and vibration resistance for long life – up to 30x better than Quartz
- Sample availability from stock in all frequencies due to programmable technology
In addition to RTC products SiTime offer MHz oscillators in the 1.5mm x 0.8mm CSP, the SiT8021 is the industry’s smallest and the lowest power MHz oscillator. This µPower oscillator offers both low power in operation at 270µA max along with a =0.7 µA standby mode again making them ideal for battery driven applications.
AEL Crystals is now one of the most experienced vendors of Frequency Control Products to this market with many wireless chipset product approvals and literally millions of crystals now being used within wireless technology products. We work closely with world leading communication chipset vendors and are able to produce products for our customers that are proven to work reliably right from the start of their project. Allied to our global logistics presence and our proven competitive pricing this makes AEL Crystals the vendor of choice for many established and emerging customers.