Automotive MEMS oscillator replaces multiple crystals

Timing precision, accuracy and tolerance to harsh environments are essential for precise operation in advanced automotive systems, explains Microchip Technology at the launch of its DSA family of automotive grade micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) oscillators.

They provide 20 times better reliability, 500 times better tolerance to shock and five times better vibration resistance than traditional quartz-based crystal devices, says Microchip. The DSA family is claimed to include the industry’s first multiple output MEMS oscillator, to replace multiple crystals or oscillators with one device. 

Timing solutions with tight frequency stability over a wide temperature range are used for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), light detection and ranging (LiDAR), in-vehicle Ethernet and autonomous driving. The DSA1001, DSA11x1, DSA11x5 and DSA2311 are available in small package sizes and with what is claimed to be Microchip’s highest tolerance to mechanical shock, jarring and stability in harsh environments over a frequency range of 2.3 to 170MHz. The devices are Automotive Electronics Council Q100 (AEC-Q100) qualified with ±20 ppm stability over temperatures ranging from -40 to +125 degrees C.

MEMS oscillators are built entirely with standard semiconductor processes, bringing systems the same reliability and stability as integrated circuits (ICs). Crystal oscillators rely on the thickness of the crystal blank inside the oscillator, making them susceptible to vibration damage with longer lead-times and fixed frequency, explains Microchip. This can delay product development or release times if a customer needs to make a last-minute frequency change. MEMS oscillators achieve frequency through programming, giving them flexibility to quickly support new frequencies with shorter lead times to meet product launch schedules. 

As the industry’s first dual output MEMS oscillator, the DSA2311 can replace two crystals or oscillators on a board, says Microchip. The DSA2311 is in a 2.5 x 2.0mm package and suits applications that require a complex board with multiple controllers, such as infotainment systems and camera modules, advises Microchip.

The DSA MEMS family of devices join Microchip’s portfolio of automotive solutions, including microcontrollers, analogue products and connectivity components. All products are backed by Microchip’s customer-driven obsolescence policy which ensures that devices will be available for as long as customers need them.

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