Chip scale atomic clock devices deliver low power holdover

September 15, 2016 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Microsemi Corporation has launched its new thermally improved Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) products with full operating and storage temperature. The devices offer the lowest power holdover atomic clock technology without compromising size, weight and power (SWaP) while operating at a wide temperature range.

With an operating temperature range of -10 to 70 degrees Celsius, these CSAC components are highly reliable, with improved product design, process enhancements and robust product verification/validation. The revolutionary technology enables new applications and missions not possible in the past with traditional OCXO and Rubidium clocks, claiming to offer the lowest SWaP clock technology in the industry at 17 cubic centimeters (cc) in size, 35g of weight and only 120 mW of power.

The CSAC product offers ±5.0E-11 accuracy at shipment and a typical ≤9.0E-10/month aging rate, which makes it suitable for many low power atomic clock holdover applications.

"The enhancements to our CSAC product offering focus on providing the highest reliability without compromising performance for our customers, particularly in mission critical applications where every milliwatt matters," said Ramki Ramakrishnan, director of product line management, at Microsemi. "These devices utilize an innovative approach to the component level atomic clock that will help Microsemi access the entire oscillator industry, along with Miniature Atomic Clocks (MAC), and capitalize on the revenue growth potential within the defense, communications, industrial and test and measurement markets."

According to the "Crystal Oscillator Market—Global Forecast & Analysts" report posted by Markets & Markets, the total available market (TAM) for the overall oscillator market is estimated to be $2.4 billion in 2016, with OCXO markets targeted by CSAC estimated to have a serviceable addressable market (SAM) of $260 million in 2016.

The improved CSAC products support the company's strategic presence in the defense and security markets, targeting applications such as low power holdover against GPS vulnerabilities for position, navigation and timing security. They are also suitable for holdover in underwater (ocean bottom nodal) applications and atomic frequency reference in test and measurement market applications.