Silicon oscillators save power

07 July 2008

A developer of semiconductors has released a range of silicon oscillators for efficient power management.

Silicon oscillator technology is said to be tougher than quartz, smaller and faster than ceramic, and more energy efficient than alternative silicon devices. The STCL1120 silicon oscillators from STMicroelectronics claims to combine fast start-up times with a high immunity to shock, vibration and electromagnetic interference.

The first STCL1120 models to be introduced are 10, 12 and 16MHz devices that can operate directly from a 5V supply. The start-up time of 50microseconds and 0.65mA operating current for the 12MHz version combine with the chip-select capability to offer power savings, and as no external components are required, designers can eliminate the capacitance matching typically necessary with ceramic resonators.

The fixed operating frequency is claimed to be accurate to within ±1.5 per cent throughout all operating conditions, and by implementing an external chip-select pin, the oscillators provide a method for engineers to ‘stop the clock’ when the application is in standby mode. This provides additional power savings by reducing the oscillator current to less than 3microamps. The push-pull, CMOS-compatible output produces a square wave for direct interfacing with on-board components including logic devices, microcontrollers, FPGAs and ASICs.

Specified for operation from –20°C to +85°C, the oscillators are designed for motor-control applications, home appliances, building controllers, display drivers, advanced battery chargers, and low-speed USB peripherals such as computer keyboards or mice.

Packaged in a five-lead SOT23 package, the STCL1120 family is available immediately. A 32kHz silicon oscillator is also offered and further variants have been planned.

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