Timing is Everything

By: Microchip Technologies


MEMS technology is well-suited to meet the demands of these emerging automotive applications

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Microchip CSA 100 MEMs oscillator

Timing is Everything

MEMS technology is well-suited to meet the demands of these emerging automotive applications

By: Microchip Technologies

Automotive-grade MEMS oscillators meet complex demands of emerging automotive applications by offering robust performance and tolerance to harsh environments.

Moving along at a rapid pace, automotive designs are now evolving to incorporate cutting-edge applications such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), in-vehicle Ethernet and autonomous driving. But these and other complex electronics systems require highly reliable and accurate timing devices that can deliver robust performance and tolerance to harsh automotive environments. In fact, each new vehicle will soon require over 100 timing devices to ensure precise operation in these advanced systems.

Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology is well-suited to meet the demands of these emerging automotive applications. MEMS oscillators are built entirely with standard semiconductor processes, delivering the same reliability and stability as integrated circuits. Crystal oscillators rely on the thickness of the crystal blank inside the oscillator. This makes them susceptible to vibration damage, resulting in longer lead times and fixed frequency. Product development or release times can be delayed if a last-minute frequency change needs to be made. MEMS oscillators achieve frequency through programming, giving them the flexibility to quickly support new frequencies with shorter lead times. Because of this, they can also be rapidly ramped up to volume production to help meet tight product launch schedules.

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MEMs oscillator automotive applications


Timing solutions that provide a tight frequency stability over a wide temperature range are critical for emerging automotive applications. To meet their requirements, Microchip has just announced the new DSA family of automotive-grade MEMS oscillators. These devices provide 20 times better reliability, 500 times better tolerance to shock and five times better vibration resistance than traditional quartz-based crystal devices. Available in small package sizes, the DSA1001, DSA11x1, DSA11x5 and DSA2311 offer the highest tolerance to mechanical shock, jarring and stability in harsh environments over a frequency range of 2.3 MHz to 170 MHz. They are Automotive Electronics Council Q100 (AEC-Q100) qualified with ±20 ppm stability over temperatures ranging from –40°C to +125°C.

The DSA family also includes the industry’s first dual-output MEMS oscillator, the DSA2311. This device can replace two crystals or oscillators on a board to resolve tight space constraints, save costs and ease the design process. The DSA2311 comes in a concise 2.5 mm × 2.0 mm package and is well suited for applications that require a complex board with multiple controllers, such as infotainment systems and camera modules.

Development Support

Microchip’s ClockWorks Configurator, a free online tool, makes it easy to select the right automotive-grade MEMS oscillator based on the frequency, package size and temperature range that your design requires, and it also enables you to order free samples to get started with prototyping your project.

Devices in the DSA family of MEMS oscillators are some of the latest additions to Microchip’s comprehensive portfolio of automotive solutions, including microcontrollers, analog products and connectivity components.

Microchip Technologies

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