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SiTime - The Industry’s Thinnest, Lowest Power Programmable Oscillator

The consumer electronics industry has been on a never ending quest for thinner, smaller, portable devices with longer battery life and enhanced features. Numerous examples include the Motorola RAZR™, Apple MacBook Air™, and Amazon's new Kindle™ 2 wireless reading device. And last but not least, the next generation of high capacity SIM (HC-SIM) cards for mobile phones, at 0.76 mm in height, epitomizes this trend of adding higher functionality to small consumer electronics devices.

The high capacity SIM card integrates gigabytes of storage, a high speed USB interface for data transfer to and from the mobile phone, and an accurate timing device to clock the USB chip. The height limitation of the HC-SIM card requires an embedded timing device thinner than 0.3 mm (equivalent to the thickness of 2-3 sheets of paper) which is difficult to achieve with traditional quartz devices.

SiTime's SiT8003XT, the world's thinnest timing device, is an excellent example of what can be achieved by using all-silicon MEMS technology and eliminating quartz completely from timing solutions. The device has a typical thickness of 0.25 mm, which is 25% of the thickness of traditional quartz oscillators. Two key factors influence the achievement of such thinness: MEMS resonators are made on silicon wafers - which can be made 75-150 microns thick in standard silicon manufacturing processes and, using standard semiconductor industry packaging - which allows cost-effective, extremely thin plastic packages. Additionally, SiTime's MEMS-based timing solutions are able to provide 10 times better robustness and reliability than quartz because they are manufactured in silicon. In addition to low power and fast startup, all the above features make the SiT8003XT ideal for use in HC-SIM cards, smart cards, and Near Field Communication (NFC) devices. A 0.25 mm thick, robust, reliable, programmable timing device is just not achievable by quartz today or in the near future.

The SiT8003XT was announced in January 2009 as part of SiTime's low power, programmable MEMS oscillator family.

DeviceProduct DescriptionKey Features
SiT8003Lowest Power, Smallest Programmable Oscillator1-80 MHz (any) and 80-110 MHz (selected) <3.5 mA typical IDD ±25 PPM Frequency Tolerance
SiT8003XT0.25 mm Thinnest Programmable Oscillator1-80 MHz (any) and 80-110 MHz (selected) <3.5 mA typical IDD 3.5 mm x 3.0 mm x 0.25 mm package
SiT8033Lowest Power, 2-Frequency Programmable Oscillator1-80 MHz (any) and 80-110 MHz (selected) F0 or F0/2, 3, 4 or 8 Frequency Select pin Vin

In addition to the above, a low power programmable spread spectrum oscillator (SiT9003) for space constrained portable applications that require EMI reduction is already available.

All four low power all-silicon programmable oscillators offer a very fast start-up time of 3 ms, with active and standby IDD of 3.5 mA and 10 µA respectively. The fast start-up time enhances battery life by allowing electronic devices to duty-cycle quickly between standby and active modes, which is a basic requirement for portable electronics.

As with all SiTime MEMS based oscillators, these devices are highly programmable - with frequencies, voltages and tolerances that can be configured easily - enabling shipment of customized samples in 24 hours and production quantities in two weeks.