Pat Hindle, MWJ Editor
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Pat Hindle is responsible for editorial content, article review and special industry reporting for Microwave Journal magazine and its web site in addition to social media and special digital projects. Prior to joining the Journal, Mr. Hindle held various technical and marketing positions throughout New England, including Marketing Communications Manager at M/A-COM (Tyco Electronics), Product/QA Manager at Alpha Industries (Skyworks), Program Manager at Raytheon and Project Manager/Quality Engineer at MIT. Mr. Hindle graduated from Northeastern University - Graduate School of Business Administration and holds a BS degree from Cornell University in Materials Science Engineering.

Crystal Oscillators Threatened by Si Timing Devices?

June 23, 2009
I am having IMS2009 withdrawals but came across this ABI Research release that states the crystal oscillator is threatened by a new set of devices grouped under the label "silicon timing solutions." According to research director Lance Wilson, "There’s a growing battle for market share between silicon timing solutions and the traditional quartz oscillator and its derivatives. Right now, silicon timing solutions have about 20% of the market, but ABI Research forecasts that percentage to nearly double within five years."

Virtually every device that contains an IC or generates a radio signal needs these devices. The incentives for equipment manufacturers to switch to silicon timing solutions? They are generally less expensive, more robust, and can integrate other functions onto the chip. But although great strides have been and will be made, they do not yet equal crystal oscillators in accuracy and stability.

In order to maximize their long-term chances of holding market share, many crystal oscillator vendors are focusing on military, aerospace and industrial markets where accuracy is at a premium and buyers are somewhat less price-obsessed. Silicon timing solution vendors, on the other hand, see fertile territories in mainstream computing and consumer electronics with MIDs and netbooks two particularly active new segments.

What do you think???
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