SOURCE: Epson Toyocom Corp.

November 25, 2008 08:30 ET

Epson Toyocom's U.S.-Based Timing Products Division Announces TCXO for High-Precision GPS Applications

EL SEGUNDO, CA--(Marketwire - November 25, 2008) - Epson Toyocom Corporation's U.S.-based Timing Products Division has announced the development of a new frequency-stable TCXO (temperature-compensated crystal oscillator) with frequency stability high enough for even the most demanding GPS applications. The new TG-5025BA oscillator is housed in a 2016-sized package, the world's smallest package category (actual dimensions are 2.1 x 1.7 mm). Commercial development is scheduled for February 2009.

The market for GPS capability in mobile terminals has been expanding in recent years. In particular, the percentage of cell phones with built-in GPS functions is rising globally due to applications that allow their location to be pinpointed in the event of an emergency call. The expansion of the market for personal navigation devices (PND) and other navigation systems is also driving demand for frequency-stable TCXOs, which are essential for accurate positioning. Mobile GPS devices, such as these, will be packing more features in increasingly dense assemblies and this trend is expected to drive market demand for high-stability TCXOs, especially small units.

Epson Toyocom is already setting the pace in GPS market trends with the TG-5005CG, a TCXO equipped with a photo AT chip. However, while the TG-5005CG offers high stability (0.5 x 10-6) in a 2.5 x 2.0 mm package, the market is already looking toward even smaller sizes. Epson Toyocom is on target to meet the more stringent size requirements with the commercial development of the TG-5025BA, a 2016-class TCXO that offers outstanding frequency stability.

The TG-5025BA is equipped with a photo AT chip, a very small, crystal chip microfabricated using Epson Toyocom's unique QMEMS(1) technology. In addition to minimal variability of characteristics, the new oscillator promises high reliability thanks to the use of internal wire bonding and Epson Toyocom's original NPO (New Platform Oscillator) structure(2). In the NPO structure the crystal unit, encased in a ceramic package, is sealed together with an oscillation circuit in a molded plastic housing. This structure reduces the susceptibility of frequency to changes in ambient temperature. Epson Toyocom's IC design technology brings additional advantages to the TG-5025BA, including precise temperature compensation, low power consumption since driving is performed at voltages as low as 1.68 V, and a wide output frequency range (13 to 52 MHz).

Epson Toyocom has successfully combined all the essential technologies for the development and manufacture of crystal devices: superior crystal chip processing, packaging and circuit design technologies. The result is a small, stable, GPS-ready TCXO. The TG-5025BA boasts a 36% smaller footprint and a 43% smaller cubic volume than its predecessor (2520 TCXO product). Despite its size, however, it has a frequency-temperature coefficient (an indicator of frequency stability over a temperature range) of 0.5 x 10-6, a rating equivalent to that of a TCXO in a conventional package size. One of the key features of the TG-5025BA is low power consumption, using some 30% less power than its predecessor.

Epson Toyocom plans to continue to expand its line of ultra-miniature 2016 TCXO products and develop even smaller high-stability TCXOs to meet the burgeoning demand in the GPS market, where end-products sizes are shrinking as packaging densities increase.

Main features

--  World's smallest class of package (2016 size = 2.1 x 1.7 mm), for a
    footprint 36% smaller and a cubic volume 46% smaller than its
    predecessor
--  Frequency stability on a par with that of its predecessor. Capable
    of supporting even GPS applications, with a frequency-temperature
    coefficient of 0.5 x 10-6      (-30° to +85°C)
--  Low-voltage driving, with a minimum voltage of 1.68 V. The low-power
    design cuts power consumption by approximately 30% compared to its
    predecessor
--  A wide output frequency range from 13 to 52 MHz
--  High reliability due to special wire bonding technology (NPO)

Main Specifications
Item                               Specification
External dimensions                2.1 x 1.7 x 0.8 mm max.
Output frequency range             13 to 52 MHz
Initial frequency deviation        +/-2.0 x 10^-6 Max. / 1 h after 2nd
                                   reflow
Frequency-temperature coefficient  +/-0.5 x 10^-6 Max. / -30° to +85°C
Operating temperature range        -30° to +85°C
Operating voltage range            1.68 to 3.3 V

Glossary

(1) QMEMS (Quartz Micro Electro Mechanical System)

QMEMS was coined by combining "Quartz" with "MEMS." QMEMS are fabricated on quartz, a crystalline material that has excellent stability and accuracy. Microfabrication processes such as photolithography, etching, metallization, sacrificial layers removal, etc. are used to produce extremely small crystal devices that still provide excellent performance.

QMEMS is a registered trademark of Epson Toyocom.

(2) NPO (New Platform Oscillator) structure

An oscillator that combines a ceramic packaged crystal unit and an oscillator circuit in a plastic mold. Better heat stress absorption and vibration resistance give the NPO structure higher throughput in batch processing than ceramic packages.

About Epson Toyocom Corporation

Epson Toyocom Corporation (Epson Toyocom) is the global leader in quartz devices. Epson Toyocom maintains its leadership position through technological innovation and expertise in three critical device categories -- timing, sensing, and optical devices; and through the development of combinations of products in each of these segments. The company and its more than 12,000 employees market its products to customers worldwide through sales and marketing affiliates around the world including Epson Electronics America, Inc. in El Segundo, California.

About Epson Electronics America, Inc.

The Timing Products Business Unit of Epson Electronics America, Inc. (EEA) is the North American sales, marketing, and engineering arm of Epson Toyocom Corporation (Epson Toyocom) and provides a wide array of crystals, oscillators, real-time clock modules, SAW products, optical devices and gyro sensors. Based in El Segundo, California, the EEA group has more than 40 sales representative offices nationwide and a growing network of exclusive distributors. For more information, please visit www.eea.epson.com and click on the Epson Toyocom center box. Both Epson Toyocom and EEA are part of the Seiko Epson Group, which consists of 109 companies around the world.

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