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Accelerating innovation in timing for 5G, IoT, and automotive electronics
Posted By: Robin Ash

SiTime has built its business on groundbreaking technology and rapid innovation. Along the way, we’ve formed strong relationships with key partners such as Bosch, which was a founding investor in SiTime and has manufactured our MEMS resonators since 2009. During this time, Bosch has developed new process technologies that have helped enhance SiTime timing solutions. And Bosch’s outstanding manufacturing and supply has helped SiTime ship over a billion units while we’ve sustained excellent quality.

This week we announced a strategic agreement that extends our relationship with Bosch to develop new process technologies for future MEMS resonators. This arrangement will utilize Bosch’s expertise in MEMS manufacturing to produce resonators for SiTime and ensure high-volume capacity for fast growing markets such as 5G, IoT, and automotive.

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Why is this important?

SiTime’s MEMS resonators provide the heartbeat of 5G, IoT, and automotive electronics. MEMS timing will enable the higher speeds of 5G, longer battery life and smaller size of IoT devices, and increased reliability of driver assistance systems in automotive, with unique benefits that are not available through traditional timing technology. In particular, the comms-5G, automotive, and IoT markets will greatly benefit from the size, reliability, and performance of SiTime’s timing solutions as the requirements for timing in these applications become more stringent. 

For example, in networking and telecommunications, timing and synchronization have become essential to the entire system. The resiliency of MEMS timing provides robust performance that is critical for the rollout of mission-critical services over 5G. The same need for reliability and dynamic performance is driving the growing use of MEMS timing solutions in automotive, where systems must dependably operate in challenging conditions such as vibration and extreme temperatures. In IoT, MEMS timing provides the small size, low weight, and low power needed for the next generation of products. In short, we will need to continue our rapid innovation of MEMS process technology, along with other advancements, to support the coming waves of innovation.

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Electron microscope image of a MEMS resonator (side view)

How is this possible?

Several companies have invested over $500 million collectively to commercialize MEMS timing products. However SiTime is the only MEMS timing company that is thriving today. SiTime uses MEMS First™ and EpiSeal™ processes to produce ultra-small, extremely robust resonators. These resonators are packaged together with a CMOS IC that employs advanced analog technology to make high-performance oscillators. These patented technologies deliver unique advantages like small size, high reliability, vibration and shock immunity, and the ability to maintain frequency stability under stressors such as fast temperature ramp and electrically noisy environments.

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Packaged MEMS oscillators (MEMS resonator combined with CMOS oscillator IC) on a MEMS wafer

SiTime’s passionate and pioneering engineering teams, along with Bosch and other partners, make such benefits possible. Our network has enabled SiTime to rapidly innovate and quickly scale without the huge investments that traditional timing companies have with their specialized and capital-intensive manufacturing chain. We’re excited about our roadmap and delighted to have partners that can support our fast growth and innovation.

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Feb 11, 2022

Jan 11, 2022

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