MCM Reduces Cost Of Crystal Oscillator For Communications Equipment
Combining crystal and oscillator circuitry defends market share
Technologies used


Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    32 Electronic components Prodcom code
SaRonix B.V. is a medium-sized Dutch company designing and manufacturing quartz crystals and oscillators for the general & industrial market, with sales of 20 MECU. The 200 persons work force includes some 15 professional electronic engineers (B.Sc. to Ph.D. level). The product line includes quartz crystals in metal or glass encapsulation; and a variety of quartz oscillators in metal encapsulation: clock oscillators; voltage-controlled oscillators; temperature-compensated oscillators; and combined temperature-compensated voltage-controlled oscillators. The product frequency ranges from 1 to 200 MHz.
The objective of the AE was to reduce the size of the quartz oscillator to an absolute minimum by incorporating the quartz blank and an oscillator IC die into a common, hermetic encapsulation in which the interconnection is integrated, i.e. a ceramic chip carrier with sealed lid.
The existing oscillators of SaRonix are built on PCB-type or hybrid carriers. They are large because of their through-hole leaded metal package, in connection with the hermetic sealing requirement of the quartz. They are expected to lose market share because most new applications capitalise on the concept of miniaturisation, e.g. mobile telephony, PCMCIA cards.
With the new adapted technology the through-hole version changes into true SMD; the SMD connections are integrated into the carrier; the carrier can be sealed hermetically without the need to seal the quartz in its own, separate housing. The size of the resulting product is only determined by the quartz itself. In addition, the cost price is reduced considerably because of fewer materials.
The economic benefits of this AE are a strong increase of sales quantity and profits. The capability of SaRonix increases with the design knowledge in a new, MCM technology and the option to apply this in manufacturing.
This AE had a duration of 13 months. The whole project, including the investment in production machinery, cost 1250 kECU, of which 143 kECU was related directly to this AE. The payback period of the whole project is expected to be less then 18 months. Total return over an estimated life cycle of 10 years is estimated at 4.3 M ECU. The ROI is 344%. or 34.4% per annum.
The project has successfully been completed. SaRonix learned the design rules for ceramic chip carriers; how to implement a sensitive quartz crystal into this carrier; critical design parameters for the interaction of IC and quartz in an integrated small housing; critical process parameters for maintaining product quality. The experience is such that a manufacturing line could be installed.
SaRonix B.V.
P.O.Box 70
7000 AB Doetinchem

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MCM technology provided SaRonix B.V. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

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