Microchip Announces New Next-Generation Miniaturized Rubidium Atomic Clock

February 11, 2020 Tiera Oliver

Microchip Technology Inc. announced a high- performance atomic clock to meet demands for a small footprint atomic clock. The new device delivers a wider thermal range, critical performance improvements, and other enhancements over previously available technology.

Microchip’s next-generation MAC-SA5X miniaturized rubidium atomic clock produces a stable time and frequency reference that maintains a high degree of synchronization to a reference clock, such as a GNSS-derived signal. Its combination of low monthly drift rate, short-term stability, and stability during temperature changes allow the device to maintain precise frequency and timing requirements during extended periods of holdover during GNSS outages or for applications where large rack-mount clocks are not possible.

Operating over a wider temperature range of -40 to +75 Celsius, the MAC-SA5X was designed to achieve atomic stability performance by taking less time to lock compared to some of the existing clock technology available in the market. In an aircraft application, for example, these attributes enable fast power up of critical communication and navigation systems in extreme climates.

The MAC-SA5X allows system developers to avoid the need for extra circuitry by integrating a one pulse per second (1PPS) input pin for fast frequency calibration, saving time and development cost. In addition, the MAC-SA5X is designed with the same footprint as previous generation miniature atomic clock technology, reducing the development time to transition to the newer, higher performance device.  

Designed and manufactured in the U.S., the MAC-SA5X operates to the following additional specifications: <5.0E-11 frequency stability over operating temperature; <5.0E-11 per month aging rate; 6.3-watt power consumption; 47 cc in volume. The MAC-SA5X provides backward compatibility with its predecessor MAC-SA.3Xm family and comes in an ovenized crystal oscillator (OCXO)-sized package of 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm.  

Development Tools

The MAC-SA5x family of atomic clocks is supported by evaluation kit 090-44500-000.

Availability

Microchip’s new MAC-SA5x atomic clock is available now for pre-sampling. In February 2020 the MAC-SA5x will be available for deliveries. Microchip supports the MAC-SA5X with technical support services, as well as an extended warranty.

For more information, visit: https://www.microchip.com/

About the Author

Tiera Oliver, edtorial intern for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits as well as newsletter updates. She also assists in news content as far as constructing and editing stories. Before interning for ECD, Tiera had recently graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.A. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university's student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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