Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) have so far been limited to low-precision applications, leaving the lion's share of the mass markets for the precise frequencies to temperature compensated quartz crystals. Now a startup claims to have cracked that nut with the world's first high-precision MEMS oscillators. Look for mainstream applications to start adopting MEMS oscillators as early as next year. R.C.J.
Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) have for the first time matched the performance of their high-end rivals, temperature compensated quartz crystals (TCXO), allowing them to compete in mainstream markets for 3G/4G handsets, GPS navigators and WiFi, according to startup Sand 9 Inc., which unveiled the new company today at the Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M. Sand 9 spun off from Boston University to develop a novel MEMS oscillator structure into what has become the worlds' most precise silicon oscillator--capable of competing with the high-precision quartz crystal oscillators used by mainstream original equipment manufacturers in 3G/4G cell phones, global positioning systems (GPS), WiFi and other high-precision applications.