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Microsemi unveils compact rubidium miniature atomic clock

Posted: 13 Apr 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsemi  rubidium  miniature atomic clock  LTE  base station 

Microsemi has released what it describes as an improved Quantum rubidium miniature atomic clock (MAC) family that surpasses wireless LTE base station and mission-critical defence infrastructure holdover requirements. Based on the company's coherent population trapping (CPT) technology, the Quantum MAC SA.3X line-up is one of the smallest, lightest and highest-performing MACs in the market, according to the company.

Featuring mechanical robustness and temperature performance, the MAC SA.3X family is only 25 per cent of the volume of the nearest competing clock in the same category, stated Microsemi. This small size, combined with its very low power consumption, makes the SA.3x series ideal for various platforms that mount directly on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA), eliminating the need for a heat sink or fan.

Quantum MAC SA.3X

Microsemi said it designed the Quantum MAC SA.3X family specifically to meet essential frequency accuracy and stability requirements in applications that include wireless base stations, wire line network infrastructure, defence systems, and test and measurement instruments. These types of systems can benefit from the low-power Quantum MAC SA. 3X that provides the ability to operate across a wide range of temperatures, detailed Microsemi.

The Quantum Rubidium MAC family claims to deliver superior holdover accuracy over extended time periods, exceeding all wireless LTE base station and mission-critical defence infrastructure requirements. The MAC-SA.3x will meet the LTE holdover requirements for several days. This innovative capability far exceeds, according to Microsemi, conventional quartz-based oscillators, which only meet holdover requirements for a few hours at most. This critical difference results in an improved mitigation solution during periods of GNSS vulnerabilities caused by jamming and outage.

The MAC SA.3X family features a compact design measuring 51mm x 51mm x 18mm and operates at 5W at 25°C (14W max during warm-up). It also flaunts superior atomic clock performance and rapid operational stability after turn-on, indicated the company.

The exclusive CPT technology does not use a lamp, but uses a laser that needs milliwatts versus the traditional rubidium lamp, which consumes power in watts. This CPT technology does not require a microwave resonator, also allowing for a smaller size than traditional rubidium that requires a resonant cell.

- Graham Prophet
  EE Times Europe

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