Low-jitter MEMS oscillators with integrated frequency margining

March 27, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
IDT's 4H LVDS / LVPECL MEMS oscillators with 100 fsec typical phase jitter and adaptable output frequency reduces BER in high-performance 10GbE and networking applications

Integrated Device Technology claims the industry’s first differential MEMS oscillators with 100 femtosecond (fsec) typical phase jitter performance and integrated frequency margining capability. The extremely low phase jitter and adaptable output frequency of IDT’s high-performance oscillators significantly reduce bit error rate (BER) in 10 gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switches, routers, and other related networking equipment.

The IDT 4H performance MEMS oscillators feature a differential LVDS / LVPECL output and the lowest phase jitter in their product class (100 fsec at 1.875 - 20 MHz and sub-300 fsec at 12kHz - 20 MHz), satisfying the low-jitter chipset requirements of high-performance networking applications. Integrated frequency margining capability enables customers to fine-tune the oscillator frequency during operation in the application by up to ±1000 ppm, minimising BER and facilitating margin testing.

The MEMS oscillators are available in multiple package sizes including the smaller 3225 (3.2 x 2.5 mm) to save board space and cost in densely populated applications. IDT believes it is only supplier to offer this combination of MEMS oscillator performance, features, and small package size.

Frequency margining capability enables a technique known in the industry as ‘plus-PPM clocking’. This technique clocks systems at a slightly higher frequency, allowing OEMs to reduce BER and resulting packet losses in networking applications. Unlike MEMS devices that only offer fixed frequencies, IDT’s device allows hundreds of offset frequencies that can be generated after the selection of any base frequency up to 625 MHz – even on final production systems.

The 4H MEMS oscillators use IDT’s piezoelectric MEMS (pMEMS) resonator technology to provide a high-frequency source. IDT MEMS oscillators offer 40 times better reliability than quartz with no activity dips, no zero-time failures, higher jitter resistance to EMI, and excellent shock and vibration resistance, making them an ideal upgrade solution for traditional quartz-based oscillators.

The IDT 4H family expands upon the 4M and 4E series of MEMS oscillators. The 4M standard oscillators are a drop-in replacement for