Precision MEMS Resonators That Covers Entire Timing Market

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These resonators offer high-performance to Bluetooth chips and microcontrollers and facilitate proper matching with the oscillator circuit

The ApexMEMS family of MHz resonators based on silicon MEMS technology are optimal for providing frequencies in the range of MHz frequencies to mobile and IoT applications such as Bluetooth hearables and wearables, high-speed connectivity interfaces, asset-tracking, as well as microcontrollers. They offer 85 per cent space savings, integration, consistent performance, resilience and reliability. 

Solving Complications

For integration into standard IC packages and modules, ApexMEMS resonators are available as a silicon die. Co-packaging these resonators with high-performance semiconductors such as Bluetooth chips and microcontrollers gives a significant system and development advantage. 

When using a quartz resonator, engineers face numerous challenges. Significant effort goes into matching the oscillator circuit with the resonator in the presence of unknown board parasitics. Without proper matching, performance may be suboptimal, and device startup at cold temperatures may be impacted. This situation gets even more complicated due to performance variations that are inherent in quartz resonators. An integrated ApexMEMS solution solves these challenges, reduces development time, simplifies manufacturing, and boosts system performance, reliability, and resilience. 

ApexMEMS resonators offer similar advantages in standalone applications. Integrated load capacitors help reduce the system size through the elimination of discrete passive components. Board layout and routing is simplified considerably, especially in space-constrained mobile-IoT applications. With the closer placement of the resonator to the semiconductor device, system performance is greatly improved. 

Key Specifications

  • Delivers 7x better phase noise performance at half the power.
  • Tiny 0.42 mm x 0.42 mm size,
  • 85 per cent smaller than a typical quartz resonator, and also integrate the load capacitors.
  • Provide stability as good as ±20 ppm
  • Reliability and best-in-class environmental resilience
  • Operating temperatures as high as 125 degrees Celsius

Predicted Estimates

According to estimates by Dedalus Consulting and SiTime, the resonator market is US$ 3 billion in size and consists of three product categories – approximately US$ 2 billion of precision resonators, US$ 400 million of ceramic resonators and US$ 600M of SAW resonators. By 2024, industry analysts and SiTime estimate that 25 to 30 billion precision resonators will be sold, driven by the growth of connectivity in mobile-IoT, industrial-IoT, automotive and industrial electronics. It is expected that up to 30 per cent of these resonators will need to be very small, offer higher performance, and be easily integrated into system-in-packages and modules. This high-value market is one use case for ApexMEMS resonators.

“ApexMEMS resonators were developed to deliver breakthrough system performance and integration as shown by their usage in the SiT9501 oscillator and the Cascade ClockSoC,” continued Vashist. “The SiT9501 is a game-changer for the 100-800G optical module market as it delivers the highest performance at the lowest power in the smallest package. Our combined understanding of the resonator, analogue, materials and thermal challenges both solves difficult system problems and benefits our resonator customers. These groundbreaking ApexMEMS resonators are available for integration or as standalone devices and customers are now designing with them.”

ApexMEMS resonators by SiTime Corporation are sampling now to select high-volume customers.


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