Multi-output MEMS clock generator offers 80 percent board space savings

Microchip has unveiled what it claims is the industry’s smallest MEMS clock generator.

The DSC613 can replace up to three crystals and oscillators on a board, reducing timing component board-space by up to 80 percent. The device eliminates the need for an external crystal by integrating a low-power and high-stability Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) resonator.

Clock sources traditionally require multiple components to meet the frequency requirements of consumer devices, and as a result tend to consume both board space and power. The DSC613 clock family has been designed to allow product designers to reduce application size while extending battery life.

To support the range of frequencies required in today’s smart devices, system designers need to either place multiple crystals/oscillators next to the controllers on a board or use a clock generator with an external crystal for the reference input.

The DSC613 family is a single-chip solution that integrates a MEMS resonator and two low-power Phase-Locked Loops (PLLs) into a 6-pin DFN package as small as 1.6 mm x 1.2 mm. The compact package size and extensive frequency flexibility makes the DSC613 family well suited for compact devices that require low-power operation, such as digital cameras, smart speakers, Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, streaming sticks and set-top boxes.

The DSC613 family supports up to three clock outputs from 2 kilohertz (kHz) to 100 megahertz (MHz), making it suitablel for microcontroller-based embedded systems. In an IoT application, for example, the clock generator can be used to provide a MHz main reference clock and 32.768 kHz Real-Time Clock (RTC) for the microcontroller (MCU), as well as another MHz clock for functions such as connectivity and sensors. The DSC613 family includes two low-power fractional PLLs with AnyRate clock synthesizers, which enable the device to generate any frequency between 2 kHz and 100 MHz. At approximately five milliamps (mA) power consumption with three outputs running, the family provides up to 45 percent power savings when compared to a solution that uses three low-power quartz oscillators. For additional power savings, the clock output can be turned off through the output enable pin.

MEMS products are built entirely with standard semiconductor processes, providing the same reliability and stability as integrated circuits, and the devices support up to -40 to +1250C temperature range with a stability of ± 20ppm. All products are backed by Microchip’s customer-driven obsolescence practice that ensures that devices will be available for as long as customers need them.

The DSC613 family is supported by Microchip’s ClockWorks online configurator tool.

Author
Neil Tyler