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 Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles
23.11.2017 | IMDEA Networks Institute

nachricht NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>