SOURCE: Discera

August 27, 2007 09:00 ET

Discera MEMS Oscillators Fully Qualified for $3.5B Timing Market

First Silicon MEMS Oscillators Successfully Demonstrate High Semiconductor Level Reliability

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - August 27, 2007) - Discera, Inc., a world leader in CMOS MEMS resonator technology and provider of next-generation timing solutions, today announced its MEMS-based oscillators have successfully passed a series of frequency stability and standard semiconductor qualification and reliability tests. The testing was designed to prove the frequency stability, reliability and durability of silicon-based MEMS resonators compared to quartz for timing devices. Key target applications for MEMS-based timing devices can be found throughout the consumer, computing, industrial, and military markets.

"We have received positive market feedback on the commercial viability of MEMS-based timing," said Ed Grant, vice president of North American products and operations for Vectron International, a strategic partner of Discera. "Now that Discera's components have passed these stringent qualifications they will continue to enhance that viability as we move into high volume production."

"This qualification is a major milestone towards the commercialization of MEMS oscillators," said Jeremie Bouchaud, head of market research at the Munich market research and consulting company WTC. "While the image of some MEMS devices has suffered as a result of reliability issues, these MEMS oscillators are actually more reliable than the incumbent quartz technology. This qualification removes the reliability questions marks and will help designers to fully embrace this technology."

Resulting from years of concentrated research and development, Discera's MOS1 MEMS-based oscillator is poised to enable electronics companies to conquer the challenges posed by quartz crystal technology, which is a mature technology with limited scalability in terms of size and cost. The promise of reduced costs and smaller product footprint offered by MEMS, has, until now, been offset by concerns about silicon resonators and reliability. These concerns included frequency stability over variable temperatures, aging, vibration operation and shock resistance. Discera tested and passed the MOS1 oscillators in seven different categories. The tests indicated that silicon-based MEMS resonators are ready for deployment in electronics products, including those designed for military use.

"Ensuring that our MEMS oscillators have passed all semiconductor qualification tests is a key step in demonstrating Discera's commitment to delivering proven technology that helps our customers improve performance and reliability," said Venkat Bahl, vice president of marketing for Discera. "Discera has yielded a solution that has been tested to exceed the reliability of quartz yet can also be manufactured with the flexibility, cost savings, reduced design time requirements and scalability of silicon."

Discera's technology consists of a silicon MEMS resonator and an ASIC embedded within a conventional QFN package or ceramic package. The MOS1 oscillator family generates frequencies from 1 to 125 MHz with excellent temperature and jitter performance and is packaged in a tiny industry standard IC package, providing a significant cost advantage.

Discera's product has met all XO requirements with the following features:

--  Cost roadmap: Using high volume, scaleable CMOS manufacturing
    processes, Discera is able to track the cost reduction curves of the
    semiconductor industry, providing a long term solution to customers on an
    ongoing basis.
--  Shorter lead time: Provides a unique way to define the oscillator
    frequency anywhere between 1 and 125MHz with a resolution of 1ppm. Unlike
    most of the programmable oscillators, which only provide a limited number
    of frequencies, Discera can provide virtually any frequency.
--  Better reliability: Testing shows Discera's resonators survived
    30,000g of shock with no degradation in performance and can be even more
    robust with industry standard packaging techniques.

The MOS1 is available from 1 to 125MHz at optional frequency tolerances of up to +/-50ppm across a temperature range of -40°C to 85°C plus one year aging, low jitter, 25,000 centrifuge acceleration and 50G vibration operation with a frequency deviation within 2ppm. The product is available now in production quantities. For more information please contact Discera or visit

About Discera

Discera is a fabless analog semiconductor company that offers tiny, high performance silicon resonators for the frequency and timing control markets. These resonators act as the heartbeat or pulse for a variety of devices from consumer products such as cameras and MP3 players to specialized equipment for the military. The company's PureSilicon™ resonator technology is a fundamental building block that offers, according to Semico Research, "a better mousetrap" for creating fully integrated, low cost, small form factor wireline and wireless products, such as oscillators, filters, and RF components. Unlike crystal based oscillators, Discera's PureSilicon™ based CMOS oscillators can be integrated into other CMOS-based circuits. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in San Jose, California, Discera is a privately held company with investments from Ardesta, Partech, 3i, Qualcomm Ventures, Horizon Ventures, and Scale Ventures. More information is available at

About Vectron

Vectron International is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of frequency control, sensor, and hybrid product solutions. Vectron solves complex timing, filtering and sensor challenges by delivering customized solutions that speed time to market and offer low total cost of ownership. Vectron uses the very latest techniques in both bulk acoustic wave (BAW) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) based designs from DC to microwave frequencies. Committed to the industry's highest quality service standard and complete satisfaction, Vectron International leverages its global footprint and 50 years of experience to help customers achieve competitive differentiation and improve their bottom line. Vectron International is headquartered in Hudson, NH and has operating facilities and sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, please call 1-88-VECTRON-1 or visit