CMOS Clocks are a key technology that enables everything from laptops and smartphones to satellites and spacecraft to function. But what exactly do these devices do, and how are they beneficial in extreme environments and demanding applications? In this article, we will give a quick overview of the benefits of CMOS clocks, and how RF engineers put them to work in some of the most challenging applications.
There are so many different devices and products for frequency generation and timing, but between all the acronyms and complex terminology of the RF industry, it can be confusing trying to understand what each type of clock or oscillator does, and what the best applications for each of them are. In this article, we’re going to help clear up some of the confusion, with a specific emphasis on CMOS clocks. We’ll cover what these devices are, why they are important, and how to know if one of these clocks is the best fit for your application.
Does your application require a super stable frequency source? How about the ability of the frequency source to be fine-tuned? Sounds like a Voltage Controlled Crystal Oscillators (VCXO) may be a great choice for your specific needs! By using a crystal oscillator as the basis of the circuit in a VCXO, high levels of frequency stability and low levels of phase noise can be maintained while still being able to control the frequency over a small range.
I'm about to take you on a journey through the deep, dark depths of outer space. Why? So you can get a feel for what crystal oscillators and resonators must endure while in the infinite world of darkness and wonder! First, you'll need to learn the important differences between crystal oscillators and resonators. After your mission is complete, you'll begin your journey to the depths of outer space from a resonator and oscillator perspective and learn their different roles and applications in space.
Enjoy your ride!
Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillator Basics
Comparing the differences between AT and SC crystals and their impact on oscillator performance.
Inside of every quartz oscillator is something called a crystal blank. The crystal blank is the resonating element of the oscillator that when subjected to a voltage potential will begin to vibrate and oscillate at it’s "fundamental frequency.” As you can probably imagine, the way that crystal blank is manufactured can have a significant impact on the oscillators performance. One of the most impactful manufacturing steps to crystal, and therefore oscillator performance, is the orientation of the quartz when the crystal blank is cut.