SiTime launches MEMS-based Elite Platform oscillators

SiTime is launching MEMS oscillators which claim to deliver:

  • 30 times higher dynamic performance for small cells, microwave backhaul, Synchronous Ethernet and optical equipment
  • 10 times better dynamic stability, 1 ppb/°C, which replaces costly OCXOs in IEEE 1588 applications
  • 20 times greater vibration resistance which ensures continuous system operation
  • 30 times higher reliability for 10/40/100G Ethernet
  • -40°C to +105°C operation which uniquely enables fan-less outdoor equipment
  • Stratum 3 with unique in-system programmability (ISP) which improves system BOM, multi-protocol support

SiTime’s Elite Platform, encompasses Super-TCXOs (temperature compensated oscillators) and oscillators engineered to solve long-standing timing problems in telecommunications and networking equipment.

“Network densification is driving rapid deployment of equipment in uncontrolled environments such as basements, curbsides, rooftops, and on poles. Precision timing components in these systems must now operate in the presence of high temperature, thermal shock, vibration and unpredictable airflow. Service providers are questioning if quartz technology is up to this challenge,” says Rajesh Vashist, CEO at SiTime, “customers have enthusiastically validated SiTime’s MEMS-based Elite Platform, as it uniquely solves such environmental issues. We believe that our new Elite solutions will transform the $1.5 billion telecommunications and networking timing market.”

SiTime was bought by the Japanese company MegaChips for $200 million in 2014. It has been a good experience for SiTime. “We run as an independent entity with zero interference,” Vashist told EW, “we doubled our revenues in 2015 and have almost doubled them again this year, and don’t see anything slowing down for five to six years.”

MegaChips bought SiTime because it wants to grow into a top ten company. “We had two other suitors besides MegaChips,” recalls Vashist, “and when I went to Japan to meet them I asked them: ‘How can you afford us?’ And they replied: ‘Easy, because debt carries 0.5% interest and we have such a superb credit rating the banks are dying to lend to us’.”

With a $6 billion timing market to address SiTime is well positioned to give MegaChips the growth it wants. “When in five to seven years our revenues reach several hundred million dollars we’ll still be under 10% of the market,” said Vashist.

SiTime has a unit in St Petersburg which develops all the companies tools and in which the Russian government was an investor before the MegaChips buy-out.

The Elite timing solutions are based on a DualMEMS architecture with TurboCompensation. This architecture has three key elements:

  • Proven TempFlat MEMS that eliminates activity dips and enables 30 times better vibration immunity than quartz
  • DualMEMS temperature sensing with 100% accurate thermal coupling that enables 40 times faster temperature tracking, which ensures the best performance under airflow and rapid temperature changes
  • Highly integrated mixed-signal circuits with on-chip regulators, a TDC (temperature to digital converter) and a low-noise PLL that deliver 5 times better immunity to power-supply noise, 30 uK temperature resolution that is 10 times better than quartz, and support for any frequency between 1 and 700 MHz

The Elite Platform comprises four new product families with a wide range of frequencies and the following unique features.

All Elite solutions offer 0.1 ppb/g vibration immunity and do not have activity dips or micro-jumps.

Stratum 3 precision Super-TCXOs for communications and cloud infrastructure equipment

  • ±100 ppb frequency stability over -40°C to +105°C, the widest operating temperature available with any TCXO
  • 1 to 5 ppb/°C frequency slope (ΔF/ΔT) at an extremely fast temperature ramp rate of 10°C/minute, a performance level that is unique among timing devices
  • 3e-11 Allan deviation (ADEV) at 10 second averaging time, 10 times better than typical quartz TCXOs
  • 0.2 ps/mV power supply noise rejection (PSNR), eliminates dedicated system LDO
  • Optional I2C/SPI frequency tuning, eliminates external DAC

Super-TCXOs for GNSS, industrial and automotive applications

  • ±0.5 ppm frequency stability over -40°C to +105°C

Ultra-low jitter differential oscillators

  • 0.23 ps integrated RMS phase jitter (12 kHz to 20 MHz)
  • 0.1 ps integrated RMS phase jitter under Ethernet mask for 10G/40G/100G
  • ±10 ppm frequency stability over -40°C to +95°C, enabling better system reliability

High-temperature high-reliability differential VCXOs

  • Up to +95°C with excellent phase noise
  • Wide pull range from ±25 ppm to ±3600 ppm
  • 0.1% frequency tuning linearity under all conditions, 50 times better than quartz

Engineering samples of the Elite-based ultra-low jitter differential oscillators and high-temperature VCXOs are available to qualified customers now. Samples of Elite-based Super-TCXOs are expected to be available in the first half of 2017. Pricing is available upon request.