This June we began sampling our Encore-based oscillators, and in just four months we have delivered thousands of parts and registered scores of design wins. This is the most interest in a new product family we have seen, and it is showing the highest-ever conversion rate from samples to design wins.
Encore is our newest technology platform. With Encore we can build oscillators with 40 dB lower phase noise, 20x better frequency accuracy, and 100x better short term stability. We can build XOs, TCXOs, VCXOs, DCXOs, and a bunch of special functions. For example, we are sampling SiT8208’s and 8209’s, the world’s only MEMS oscillators with sub-picosecond 12 kHz to 20 MHz integrated phase jitter; and we are sampling SiT5000, 5001, and 5002’s, the world’s only sub-ppm MEMS TCXOs. These parts don’t just squeak by with one picosecond integrated jitter or one ppm accuracy, they typically are delivering half that.
While these are the world’s only MEMS oscillators with these capabilities, their performance levels are also rare in the quartz field. Quartz oscillators with sub-picosecond integrated jitter are often advertised as “extremely low jitter”, and not everyone can build them. On the accuracy side, sub-ppm TCXOs are also rare, and not everyone can build them either.
How can we develop oscillators in just a couple of years that most quartz companies can’t develop after decades? I describe this in my last post, but here is another way to look at it: It is because our technology is based on modern semiconductors and is highly leveraged; while in comparison the quartz oscillator technology is specialized and far less leveraged. We design our products within software ecosystems we don’t have to write because others have come before us and already written and tested them. We build our parts in billion dollar fabs that we don’t need to own because we leverage the huge investments of semiconductor companies. We package and test our parts in standard IC packages with standard tooling in standardized factories that we don’t need to build because we leverage a standard IC production infrastructure.
None of this works for the quartz guys. When they need to design new parts they don’t have an industrial design infrastructure supporting them but are mostly on their own. When they need to build their quartz blanks they must build their own specialized fabs. When they need to package and test their parts they must buy specialized equipment for their own specialized facilities. This takes time, soaks up capital, and hinders innovation.
The net result is that we innovate faster and push our technology further that the quartz incumbents. We move in strides in an industry where progress has been measured in steps.