TCXO Stability is More than Just a Number

TCXO Stability is More than Just a Number

There’s much more to selecting a TCXO than its frequency-over-temp spec. Many other factors must be considered when assessing oscillator impact on system performance.


The main datasheet specification of a temperature-compensated oscillator (TCXO) is its frequency-over-temperature stability, expressed in parts/million (ppm) or parts/billion (ppb). But this specification isn’t enough on its own to predict the TCXO’s performance and reliability in a real-life system.

In practice, different stability specifications in a TCXO datasheet account for the many factors that contribute to stability. Therefore, TCXO stability is more than just a single number for a given system. This article provides a comprehensive list of contributing factors impacting TCXO stability that should be accounted for when evaluating a system’s overall stability.   

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