Tiny low-power MEMs oscillator family for automotive applications

Tiny low-power MEMs oscillator family for automotive applications

New Products |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

SiTime Corporation has introduced an ultra-low-power 32 kHz oscillator family that provides accurate time keeping for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), infotainment, instrument clusters and electronic control units (ECUs). The unique combination of 4x better stability and up to 20% lower power extends system battery life.

To conserve power, electronic subsystems need to be turned on and off frequently and accurately. Since the 32 kHz oscillator (XO) is the time keeping element, and is always-on, its accuracy and power consumption play a significant role in reducing overall system power. The SiT1881 is the industry’s smallest XO, delivering ±50 ppm of stability, the most accurate amongst all 32 kHz XOs, with up to 20% lower power.

As electronics become smaller and denser, semiconductor devices also need to shrink. Unlike legacy quartz alternatives, in which resonator size increases with decreasing frequency, SiTime MEMS technology enables SiT1881 XO to fit in a tiny QFN package that is 30% smaller.

According to Gartner, the automotive electronics segment will continue its double-digit growth over the next three years as semiconductor content per vehicle surges during the market’s transition to electric and autonomous vehicles. Gartner projects semiconductor content per vehicle will increase from $712 in 2022 to $931 in 2025. This continued growth is driving demand for precision timing content in automotive applications. An electric car uses up to 60 timing devices, and that number is expected to grow as cars incorporate more and smarter electronics.

“SiTime invented the 32 kHz precision timing market. With the launch of this new oscillator family, we are expanding our kHz portfolio from mobile IoT-consumer into automotive,” said Piyush Sevalia, EVP marketing, SiTime. “Building on more than a decade of precision timing innovation, SiTime is delivering a unique combination of miniature size, exceptional stability, and ultra-low power in 32 kHz oscillators. SiT1881 will quickly become the standard for power- and space-constrained time-keeping applications in today’s cars.”

Key highlights of the SiT1881 kHz oscillator family include:

  1. ±50 ppm frequency stability over entire temperature range ensures robust system performance in hostile environments and lower power consumption.
  2. Ultra-low power of 490 nA current (<0.6 µW typical power consumption).
  3. Industry’s smallest form-factor of 1.2- x 1.1- x 0.55-mm QFN package (1.32 mm2 footprint, 0.67 mm3 volume).
  4. AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualified with extended -40 oC to +105 oC temperature range.
  5. Superior reliability of 2 billion hours MTBF.
  6. Industry’s smallest, ultra-low power 32.768 kHz automotive XO designed to operate over a wide voltage and temperature range.

Engineering samples of the SiT1881 oscillators will be available through SiTimeDirect beginning Nov. 1, 2022. Volume production is expected in Q2 2023.

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