Quartz XMEMS™: the pathway to the future of oscillator technology

Rakon 3 December 2019 9:00:00 AM
Pho mask used in photolithography process

Rakon announces it has released its XMEMS™ technology, based on the company’s NanoQuartz™ photolithography process.

XMEMS™ delivers unprecedented resonator and oscillator performance in terms of stability and noise. This proprietary technology coupled with Rakon’s own oscillator ASICs1, forms the foundation of Rakon’s industry leading 5G product offering.

Rakon Sales and Marketing Director Darren Robinson says the company has technology just released, and in the pipeline, that will enable its customers to develop new products and applications to take full advantage of the high bandwidth 5G future.

“Rakon has invested heavily in R&D for photolithography and its NanoQuartz™ process for over a decade. Our NanoQuartz™ process enable us to achieve critical quartz dimension accuracies in the tens of nanometre range. This allows us to control key resonator properties such as Q, frequency stability and unwanted modes to unprecedented levels.”

NEW-XMEMS-Fig2-1200x600

Quartz MEMS versus Silicon MEMS
Robinson says XMEMS™ offers distinct advantages when competing with silicon MEMS.
“Common MEMS oscillator devices use a silicon ASIC and a separate silicon resonator stacked and combined in a single package. The key difference with XMEMS™ is that we are using the unique properties of quartz as the resonating material.

NEW-XMEMS-Fig3-4-1200x600

“The natural properties of quartz generate a high Q piezo electric effect and when cut and dimensioned correctly, offer several orders of magnitude better stability than silicon. The high Q of quartz also enables lower phase noise oscillators essential for high bandwidth communications. Silicon MEMS oscillators try to mimic this using complex MEMS processing to compensate for the poorer properties of silicon, combined with multiple noise-adding and costly phase-locked loops”.

Rakon Advanced Technology Manager for Global Engineering Michael McIlroy adds that XMEMS™ offers the benefits of a microelectromechanical systems process, coupled with the inherently superior material properties of quartz over silicon, which has lower Q and a temperature error that is 1000 times worse than quartz.

 

NEW-XMEMS-Fig5-1200x600

 

“XMEMS™ technology can offer the best phase noise performance without the phase-locked loop induced phase noise ‘hump’ you would typically see in a silicon MEMS oscillator phase noise performance plot,” he says.

 

NEW-XMEMS-Fig6-PN-1200x600

 

Robinson says the first products have just been released with new products launching next year.

“Rakon will be releasing multiple new products using XMEMS™ technology during 2020. We see XMEMS™ as the pathway to the future of oscillator technology. We will be producing ultra-high performance oscillators enabling new applications never before possible – the future of connectivity.”

--------------------------------------------------------------

1 ASIC Application-Specific Integrated Circuit.

Media Enquiries:

Louise Howe (Media Liaison)

Email: louise.howe@rakon.com

+64 21 206 0985

www.rakon.com