RF engineers are always trying to improve the performance of the systems they work on. A perfect, 100% stable signal which never deviates from the intended frequency will probably never be attainable in reality; the toll that the physical environment and time will take on a crystal remains a fact of life.
But that doesn’t stop us from always working towards getting as close to possible to that ideal. Both of these challenges can be mitigated by selecting a high-quality oscillator. Picking the right one for the job depends on the application for which it is being used, as well as other factors like the amount of power available.
In this article, we will make the case that for those who are trying to minimize the effects of aging and improve stability without using a lot of power, a temperature-compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO) might be the right solution.