SiTime, Silicon MEMS Oscillators and Clock Generators

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Conference Presentations

ISSCC 2012 Tutorial
Getting In Touch with MEMS: The Electromechanical Interface

These slides accompanied the 2012 ISSCC Tutorial. The tutorial is written for practicing IC engineers and students.
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MEMS systems include mechanical structures and electronic sense and drive circuits. Between these is an electromechanical interface, which can be capacitive, piezoresistive, piezoelectric, ferroelectric, electromagnetic, thermal, optical or can take some other form. The selection of this interface is the single most critical decision in the system definition and it determines the eventual capabilities and limits of the device.

The interface fundamentally sets the device's sensitivity, accuracy, drift, ageing, temperature behavior, and environmental capabilities. The interface determines the MEMS production technology and hence the fab selection, the cost structure, and the time to market. This tutorial examines and compares the available options and application drivers. Which interface technologies can be used? Why is one more suitable for a particular application than another? How do they scale? What is on the horizon? The goal is to expand the attendee's potential role from circuit designer to system designer. From "Here is the MEMS device, design the interface circuit." into "Here is the problem, define an optimal solution."

Presentation content:

  • MEMS Materials, Processes and Example Applications
  • Electrical Interfaces
  • Scaling Laws
  • Packaging is Critical
  • CMOS Integration
  • How to Succeed


MEMS-Based Resonators and Oscillators are Now Replacing Quartz
These slides accompanied the 2012 ISSCC Evening Session on Technologies that Could Change the World – You Decide!
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MEMS timing is here now. MEMS will replace quartz oscillators in most applications. The value-add is strong enough to transform an industry. This presentation provides a short overview of MEMS timing technology, its benefits and recent developments.


Application White Papers - Mobile / Portable / Wearables

MEMS Oscillators: Enabling Smaller, Lower Power Wearables
The explosive growth in the Internet of Things (IoT) is fueled in part by wearable technology enabled by advancements in miniaturization and new power efficiencies, and MEMS sensor and timing technology plays a major role. A new class of low current, MEMS solutions offers advantages over the ubiquitous 32 kHz crystal clock with benefits that include smaller footprints, lower power and higher accuracy that allows devices to extend sleep mode.
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MEMS Time Keeper Extends Standby Life of Mobile Devices

This paper discusses how to extend battery life with techniques such as shutting down functional blocks with the highest current drain and switching to suspend or sleep states, and use of unique power saving strategies – such as programmable output frequencies and programmable output drive swing levels – that reduce power consumption of always ON clocks used in mobile devices.
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MEMS Timing Technology: Shattering the Constraints of Quartz Timing to Improve Smart Mobile Devices

Mobile device designers and manufacturers require components that can save space and power. The latest MEMS timing technology, such as 1 Hz to 32 kHz solutions, can reduce footprint by up to 85%, reduce power by up to 50% and increase reliability and performance. SiTime’s MEMS timing solutions are based on a programmable platform to offer additional features and a wide selection of options with very short lead times.
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How to Improve Tablet PCs and Other Portable Devices with MEMS Timing Technology

Market dynamics are quickly changing with the success of the iPad, iPhone and Android-based devices. MEMS-based timing solutions enable designers to differentiate their products and meet their needs for devices with smaller size, more features, higher performance, better reliability and durability. Learn how manufacturers of portable devices can leverage both the performance advantages as well as supply chain benefits of new timing technology.
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Application White Papers - Industrial / Medical / LED Lighting / Motor Control

Enhance Performance of Industrial Equipment with High-temperature, Ultra Robust MEMS Oscillators

Reference timing components are used in industrial electronic systems to synchronize all signals to the clock source. Electronic equipment used in harsh industrial environments must be highly resilient and robust, and must contain components that are designed to operate in extreme environments. Learn how MEMS-based oscillators offer new features, flexibility and superior reliability that is ideal for industrial applications.
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Field Programmable Timing Solutions for Medical Applications

MEMS oscillators are well suited for meeting the special requirements (e.g., electromagnetic compatibility) of diverse electronic medical devices. Medical device applications, which tend to be highly specific, require flexible and robust timing solutions. Learn about programmable MEMS-based architecture, ultra resilient field programmable and low power devices, and features such as spread spectrum and programmable drive strength for EMI reduction.
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Silicon MEMS Oscillators Provide Benefits for LED Lighting

Silicon MEMS-based oscillators are the preferred timing solution for many lighting systems, especially those used for industrial and commercial installations. MEMS oscillators have better performance and reliability compared to quartz-based devices. The all-silicon programmable architecture, flexible features and special functions of MEMS oscillators help resolve design issues, and they offer lower cost and shorter lead-times for lighting manufactures.

MEMS Oscillators Improve System Performance and Reliability in Motor Control Applications

MEMS oscillators are replacing quartz-based timing devices in electronic motors because they offer better reliability, improved stability, more features, short lead times and lower cost. Industrial motor controlled equipment is often subject to extreme temperatures, high levels of vibration and electromagnetic noise. In the presence of these harsh conditions, oscillators must operate reliably. Read the latest performance data for XOs tested under these conditions.
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Application White Papers - Consumer

MEMS Timing Solutions Are Ideal for Digital Camera Applications

Oscillators are used in cameras to clock the image sensor and main processor. New MEMS-based timing devices allow designers to differentiate cameras with increased performance, higher accuracy and new features. Learn how to use new timing solutions to design products with lower jitter, excellent frequency stability, smaller size, longer batter life and improved reliability.
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MEMS Timing Solutions Improve Touchscreen Devices
MEMS-based oscillators and resonators offer new benefits to systems that use touchscreen technology. The benefits include higher system performance and reliability with immunity to shock, vibration, and noise; better touchscreen performance with lower internal EMI enabled by spread spectrum and edge rate control; plus supply chain benefits such as lower cost, short lead-times, and flexible features.
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Application White Papers - Other

Clock Features for Power Conscious and Greener Applications

When designing clock sources in power conscious applications, various timing technologies and clock features should be considered as they affect power consumption differently. This paper discusses power-saving features, performance and layout issues; and compares the tradeoffs of the three main reference clock types (XTAL, oscillator and clock generator) and the two main timing technologies (quartz verses MEMS).