Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VTT replaces quartz with silicon in timing circuit

23.05.2006


Miniaturised and wireless electronics step in new age

Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, in co-operation with VTI technologies Oy, has developed a new timer circuit that is one hundred times smaller than the traditional quartz crystal. The substitution of quartz for silicon opens up totally new possibilities for reducing the size of electronic devices and for improving their performance. The device is especially helpful in the realization of wireless electronics. For example, it is possible to install buttons, biometric detectors and sharp clocks into smart cards that are thinner than anything seen before.

A reference of time - a clock - is an integral part of our life, for example, in helping us to synchronize our lives with the surrounding society.



Quite similarly, a reference of time or frequency is needed practically in all electronic devices to allow coherent communication within the device and with the outside world.

For example, in radios and cell phones, the frequency reference enables the reception of exactly the right signal from the fizzling chaos of radio waves.

The central problem of quartz resonators is their large size in comparison with the highly miniaturised integrated circuits. The situation is like having 100 kilometres tall giants serving a single purpose, time, for a city of some million inhabitants.

With size less than one square millimeter the silicon microresonator demonstrated by VTT and VTI enables combining it with integrated circuits in a way not possible with quartz crystals.

Wide applications

The new microresonator foreruns in the way to intelligent sub-millimetre electronics and responds to today’s challenge for further miniaturising and increasing functionality of consumer electronics where radios will replace cables. This cannot be done just by shrinking integrated circuits alone but miniaturisation of supporting components is also required.

Furthermore, the microresonator opens up e.g. entire new ways to develop and implement devices for wireless local area networks like miniature radio receivers. These will find their ways to everyday objects like clothes, shoes, earphones and eye glasses.

Microresonators are also needed in other devices used for wireless communication and data processing. Smart cards, for instance, will become thinner and more intelligent and they do not need any reader. The card may also have a display and biometric identification sensor.

Intelligent electronics will be everywhere; in homes, public spaces, roads, portable equipment, health care, identification and payment.

Manufactured in Finland

Quartz crystal resonators are perhaps the second most important component, right after integrated circuit, in any electrical equipment. The annual world-wide sales of quartz resonators is over a 4 billion units, worth of USD 3 billion (EUR 2.5 billion).

There are already three small start-up companies that have launched their first silicon oscillators. Stability-wise VTT and VTI are the technology leaders.

At first stage, silicon resonators will replace quartz resonators in products where size really matters. But in the long run evolution of quartz technology can’t compete with silicon technology.

VTI Technologies, a leading silicon accelerometer and pressure sensor manufacturer, is reviewing the business potential of silicon resonators. VTI’s sensors are widely applied in automotive, medical and sports applications.

If business partners are found VTI is planning to start manufacturing of silicon resonators in Finland. In this, the company can utilise existing know-how and manufacturing lines. VTI is ready for large volume. Currently the annual sensor production is 23 million units and can be expanded to more than 100 millions.

Sirpa Posti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Researchers catch extreme waves with higher-resolution modeling
15.02.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>