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How Crystal Oscillators Meet Requirements for 5G Networks

How Crystal Oscillators Meet Requirements for 5G Networks

Crystal oscillators are still as relevant as they were 50 years ago. From 5G network to phase-locked loop circuits, instrumentation, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) applications, crystal oscillators offer balance, accuracy, frequencies needed by numerous industries.

First, what’s an oscillator? An oscillator is an electronic device that produces periodic electric signals.

A crystal oscillator is an electronic oscillator that works on the inverse piezoelectric effect principle to produce a constant electric signal when an alternating voltage is supplied across the crystals.

Crystal oscillators are components of computers, disk drives, digital systems, modems, GPS systems, etc. An extension of 4G, 5G is the fifth-generation mobile communication technology characterized by high performance, low power consumption, low time delay, and interconnectivity.

With 5G, you can download a high-definition (HD) movie within a short period and surf the internet without buffering. The emergence of 5G increases the network speed and creates interconnection, thereby making our lives smarter and easier.

Before now, everyone had one or two terminals, and in the era of the 5G network, each person may have 5 or 10 terminal devices. Preceding the 5G network is the introduction of smart wearables, AI robots, voice communication, VR devices, autonomous driving, and intelligent health care devices, which are becoming part of our everyday life.

Timing and clocking scheme is essential in 5G network applications hence the need for electronic oscillators since they provide high-precision clock signals and receive transmission signals. Crystal oscillators prevent time slips and data loss.

Since 5G needs to be efficient and accurate, crystal oscillators have to meet high requirements for optimal performance of the network. Though passive crystals are associated with the irregular frequency output, they’re the most commonly used crystal type.

To meet the requirements of 5G connected products, passive crystals should be provided with active crystals for more stability of frequency and 5G devices’ high performance. Active crystal oscillators come equipped with clock circuits that produce regular frequency output and make circuits work efficiently. Being the heart of electronics, crystal oscillators need to be continuously improved to meet 5G devices’ higher requirements.

How different crystal oscillators meet the requirements of 5G products

There are various products from different manufacturers available in the market. Not all oscillators are crystals; an example is Silicon MEMs, usually used in high vibration applications due to their reliability, high capacity, and low power.

Let’s consider a few of these crystal oscillators.

Abracon crystal oscillators

Due to the need for low RMS jitter clock solutions, crystal oscillators like low phase noise crystal oscillators (XO) and high-precision temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (TCXO) are produced for compatibility with 5G products. ASGTX5, a temperature compensated crystal oscillator, tackles high temperature and frequency output instability. For high-stability networking and communications applications, the oscillator comes packed with high-frequency clock output capability and a compact footprint of 5.0 x 3.2 mm.

IQD Crystal Oscillator

The IQOV-220 OCXO provides high stability and low phase noise. ±0.5 ppb (parts per billion) is released over a temperature range between –40°C and 85°C, with short-term stability of 0.5 ppt. The IQOV-220 is utilized in operating high-performance synthesizers, satellite communications, radar, and network clocks.

Tuning Fork Crystal Oscillators

The A-crystals are excellent for mobile communication fields, such as reference clocks for mobile communication terminals. The patch crystal oscillator consists of lots of reference clock source frequencies that enhance mobile communication. It meets the high temperature reflow temperature curve, which is pivotal to effective communication.

As the 5G network is gaining ground globally, there’s been a considerable rise in high-performance crystal oscillators’ production.

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