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NXP Demonstrates Ultra-Compact, High-Precision MEMS Frequency Synthesizer

Showcases R&D Strength in High Performance Mixed Signal Technologies at CES 2012 (January 09, 2012)

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS and LAS VEGAS, NV -- (Marketwire) -- 01/09/12 -- NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today unveiled its ultra-compact, high-precision MEMS-based frequency synthesizer, which presents a compelling alternative to quartz crystal-based timing devices. NXP's MEMS technology replaces a quartz crystal with a bare silicon die that is more than 20 times smaller than the smallest crystal available today. The MEMS die does not require any dedicated, quartz-like, ceramic or metal-can hermetic package. Instead, it can be merged with other ICs into a standardized, low-cost plastic package. The crystal-free frequency synthesizer is one of several advanced High Performance Mixed Signal technologies which NXP is showcasing this week at CES 2012 (booth CP8).

High-Precision MEMS Resonator Technology
NXP's proprietary resonator technology for MEMS-based timing devices features higher frequency stability, lower timing jitter and lower temperature drift compared to other CMOS oscillators. The first prototype currently released for production enables a highly stable clock reference that is ideal for communications equipment using Gigabit Ethernet, USB, PCI-Express and S-ATA, plus CPU timing, memory and control in consumer electronics devices. Its high level of system integration and very small form factor make it a compact, robust and highly cost-effective alternative to quartz crystal-based timing devices, as described in this video:

Key features of NXP MEMS resonator technology include:

  • Higher frequency stability. The resonator exhibits very low motion damping and hence a very high quality factor (Q-factor), allowing for high frequency stability and low close-to-carrier noise levels of the oscillator. Low damping is achieved using a mono-crystalline silicon resonator that is placed under reduced atmospheric pressure in a low-cost, on-wafer processed hermetic cavity. The resonator shows no significant ageing, even after accelerated lifetimes such as HTOL, HAST and TMCL.
  • Lower timing jitter. NXP's MEMS resonator uses a unique piezo-resistive concept combining strong electro-mechanical coupling with a high resonance frequency. The high oscillation frequency that is made possible with this concept enables very low timing jitter. By using the piezo-resistive concept, the resonator overcomes the classical issue of weak electro-mechanical coupling at high resonance frequency, which is encountered in conventional silicon MEMS resonators.
  • Lower temperature drift. The NXP resonator exhibits 10 times less temperature drift compared to conventional silicon resonators, and is comparable to quartz-crystal tuning forks. The reduction in temperature drift is realized passively, and therefore does not require any additional power that is often needed in conventional temperature drift correction schemes. As a result, the oscillator is able to realize very high frequency stability of only a few parts-per-million (ppm).

Advanced Technologies Featured at CES
Other cutting-edge technologies which are being presented by the NXP R&D team at CES this week include:

  • Multi-modal smart sensors for use in smart buildings, climate control, automotive comfort and perishable goods monitoring
  • Multi-protocol smart home and building management systems for operating multiple home networks, including wireless monitoring of energy consumption
  • High-efficiency solar energy harvesting for off-grid solar applications and solar battery charging
  • Wireless audio ear buds as an alternative to wired or Bluetooth-based headphones based on magnetic induction radio technology
  • High-performance gigabit communications systems to enable high-speed mobile and computer connectivity, and for applications such as automotive safety radar and high-resolution body scanners

René Penning de Vries, CTO of NXP Semiconductors, said: "We're very excited to present our groundbreaking MEMS resonator technology as well as other R&D innovations at CES 2012. NXP's entire culture is built around innovation, and we strive to exceed our customers' expectations by pushing the envelope with new and potentially game-changing technologies. The solutions we're showing at CES clearly illustrate NXP's ongoing commitment to improving our work, home and leisure environments through smarter electronics."


About NXP Semiconductors
NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) provides High Performance Mixed Signal and Standard Product solutions that leverage its leading RF, Analog, Power Management, Interface, Security and Digital Processing expertise. These innovations are used in a wide range of automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer and computing applications. A global semiconductor company with operations in more than 25 countries, NXP posted revenue of $4.4 billion in 2010. Additional information can be found by visiting

Forward-looking Statements
This document includes forward-looking statements which include statements regarding NXP's business strategy, financial condition, results of operations, and market data, as well as any other statements which are not historical facts. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. These factors, risks and uncertainties include the following: market demand and semiconductor industry conditions; the ability to successfully introduce new technologies and products; the end-market demand for the goods into which NXP's products are incorporated; the ability to generate sufficient cash, raise sufficient capital or refinance corporate debt at or before maturity; the ability to meet the combination of corporate debt service, research and development and capital investment requirements; the ability to accurately estimate demand and match manufacturing production capacity accordingly or obtain supplies from third-party producers; the access to production capacity from third-party outsourcing partners; any events that might affect third-party business partners or NXP's relationship with them; the ability to secure adequate and timely supply of equipment and materials from suppliers; the ability to avoid operational problems and product defects and, if such issues were to arise, to correct them quickly; the ability to form strategic partnerships and joint ventures and to successfully cooperate with alliance partners; the ability to win competitive bid selection processes to develop products for use in customers' equipment and products; the ability to successfully establish a brand identity; the ability to successfully hire and retain key management and senior product architects; and, the ability to maintain good relationships with our suppliers. In addition, this document contains information concerning the semiconductor industry and NXP's business segments generally, which is forward-looking in nature and is based on a variety of assumptions regarding the ways in which the semiconductor industry, NXP's market segments and product areas may develop. NXP has based these assumptions on information currently available, if any one or more of these assumptions turn out to be incorrect, actual market results may differ from those predicted. While NXP does not know what impact any such differences may have on its business, if there are such differences, its future results of operations and its financial condition could be materially adversely affected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak to results only as of the date the statements were made. Except for any ongoing obligation to disclose material information as required by the United States federal securities laws, NXP does not have any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after we distribute this document, whether to reflect any future events or circumstances or otherwise. For a discussion of potential risks and uncertainties, please refer to the risk factors listed in our SEC filings. Copies of our SEC filings are available from on our Investor Relations website, or from the SEC website,

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