Abracon | Moore's Law and the Tuning Fork Crystal Oscillator

The Relationship Between Moore's Law and the Tuning Fork Crystal Oscillator

The rise of the IoT revealed a need for both miniaturization and lower power consumption, and Moores law aided the constant race toward generating longer battery life. It is not coincidence that quartz crystal technology has followed a similar trend.

07.18.2019
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Moore’s law, a widely known forecast that the number of transistors fitted onto a chip will double about every couple years, has evolved several times over the last 50+ years. The rise of the IoT revealed a need for both miniaturization and lower power consumption, and Moore’s law aided the constant race toward generating longer battery life.

It is not coincidence that quartz crystal technology has followed a similar trend. In many applications, the tuning fork crystal oscillator (XO) is the only circuit that runs 100% of the time. Since the XO serves as the system’s heartbeat, even during deep sleep, applying the lowest power consumption technology available is necessary.

Since 1995, Abracon has led the industry with 5 major new product introductions. Each new crystal technology delivers a lighter electrical load in terms of reduced loading capacitance and guaranteed low equivalent resistance (ESR), as illustrated in the image below.


major-new-quartz-technology-introductions_the-evolution-of-tuning-fork-crystals.jpg#asset:14000


A lighter load enables the next generation of smaller feature sized transistors with reduced transconductance to drive the oscillation. Otherwise, insufficient gain will dampen the oscillation, and the XO will not start. A beneficial by-product exists. The lighter electrical load requires less power. With each generation of lower CL and lower ESR, a reduction in power consumption can be achieved.

Each introduction of new quartz crystal technology enables oscillators with lower transistor geometry, saving power while increasing transistor count. There has always been talk about the inevitable discontinuation of Moore’s law: Physics limitations and cost constraints exist. If so, will the quartz crystal also get stuck at its current performance level? History has shown us that progress doesn’t end, and miniaturization and energy efficiency still drive modern design considerations.

Abracon’s white paper titled “Optimized for Battery Life and Reliability: Quartz Crystals for IoT and Wearable Devices” exemplifies robust energy saving solutions in crystal designs.

See the white paper here: https://abracon.com/downloads/Abracon-White-Paper-Optimized-for-Battery-Life-and-Reliability-Quartz-Crystals.pdf


About Abracon, LLC | Innovation For Tomorrow's Designs

Headquartered outside of Austin, Texas, Abracon is a trusted supplier of leading-edge and innovative electronic components including Frequency Control, Timing, Power, Magnetics, RF and Antenna solutions. Servicing world-class companies across the data communication, transportation, industrial, medical, consumer, aerospace, and defense industries, Abracon accelerates customers’ time-to-market by providing unmatched product solutions, technical expertise, and service excellence.

Learn more at www.abracon.com


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