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Effects of Temperature on the Performance and Stability of Recent COTS Silicon OscillatorsSilicon oscillators have lately emerged to serve as potential replacement for crystal and ceramic resonators to provide timing and clock signals in electronic systems. These semiconductor-based devices, including those that are based on MEMS technology, are reported to be resistant to vibration and shock (an important criteria for systems to be deployed in space), immune to EMI, consume very low current, require few or no external components, and cover a wide range of frequency for analog and digital circuits. In this work, the performance of five recently-developed COTS silicon oscillator chips from different manufacturers was determined within a temperature range that extended beyond the individual specified range of operation. In addition, restart capability at extreme temperatures, i.e. power switched on while the device was soaking at extreme (hot or cold) temperature, and the effects of thermal cycling under a wide temperature range on the operation of these silicon oscillators were also investigated. Performance characterization of each oscillator was obtained in terms of its output frequency, duty cycle, rise and fall times, and supply current at specific test temperatures. The five different oscillators tested operated beyond their specified temperature region, with some displaying excellent stability throughout the whole test temperature range. Others experienced some instability at certain temperature test points as evidenced by fluctuation in the output frequency. Recovery from temperature-induced changes took place when excessive temperatures were removed. It should also be pointed out that all oscillators were able to restart at the extreme test temperatures and to withstand the limited thermal cycling without undergoing any significant changes in their characteristics. In addition, no physical damage was observed in the packaging material of any of these silicon oscillators due to extreme temperature exposure and thermal cycling. It is recommended that additional and more comprehensive testing under long term cycling be carried out to fully establish the reliability of these devices and to determine their suitability for use in space exploration missions under extreme temperature conditions.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Patterson, Richard L.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hammoud, Ahmad
(ASRC Aerospace Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 724297.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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