After years of research, development and manufacturing capacity build-up, micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) oscillators appear to be taking off. Look for a massive switchover to MEMS oscillators market- and world-wide from 2010-2012. R.C.J.
SiTime Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) and Discera Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) have each been steadily building market share by displacing bulky quartz crystals with compact MEMS chips. Now Silicon Laboratories Inc. (Austin, Texas) has purchased MEMS startup Silicon Clocks and plans to begin integrating MEMS timing modules atop otherwise standard CMOS chips, eliminating even the need for a separate timing chip package at all, spurring the MEMS oscillator market into high gear. Besides Silicon Labs, Sand9 announced last year that it would also be building MEMS oscillators that for the first time match the high-precision temperature compensated quartz crystals (TCXO), allowing them to compete in mainstream markets for 3G/4G handsets, GPS navigators and WiFi hubs. With Silicon Labs entry into the high-precision market too, all bases will be covered for the mass market migration to MEMS oscillators, according to iSuppli.
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