Microchip upgrades precise atomic clock

Microchip’s MHM-2020 hydrogen maser atomic clock has been upgraded, with a colour touch panel and secure network management port.

Microchip says that the changes improve typical long-term stability performance by nearly 10 times compared with the previous generation MHM-2010.

Hydrogen masers emit microwaves at the resonance frequency of the hydrogen atom (i.e. 1,420,405,751Hz). Phase-locking this small-power, high-purity signal to a very high-performance quartz oscillator delivers a clock output signal with the necessary long-term stability and phase noise to enable precise time keeping, explains Microchip. Active hydrogen masers quadruple the stability of passive hydrogen masers while providing superior short-term stability compared to cesium beam tube atomic clocks, adds the company.

The MHM-2020 maser uses drift-compensation to improve long-term clock-drift and ageing performance, which is critical for metrology and timekeeping applications. The upgraded MHM-2010 is the preferred choice of national labs that work with Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) standards for maintaining co-ordinated universal time (UTC) worldwide, enabling users to attain <3E-16/day long-term ageing, improved temperature stability and lower magnetic field sensitivity.

The maser’s short-term clock stability performance between one to 100 seconds range meets the stringent requirements of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) for radio astronomy research such as studying black holes and other applications that require a low noise, precise frequency and timing reference.

The MHM-2020 76001-20X active hydrogen maser and upgrade package for users of applicable legacy MHM-2010 masers are both available.  The maser can be specified with an optional low phase noise packaging option. Microchip supports the maser with clock maintenance, on-site repair and consulting services, as well as an extended warranty.


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