In this third and final article in the series on chip scale atomic clocks, I’d like to share products that have leveraged CSAC’s key attributes and a conclusion.
Read the first article in this series, “Thermally-Improved Microsemi Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) (Part 1 of 3).”
Read this second article in this series, “The SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC): Low Power, Low Profile Height, & Stability (Part 2 of 3).”
Several products have leveraged the CSAC’s key attributes (low power and atomic-clock performance) to launch products targeted at mobile applications. Microsemi distributes a line of GNSS disciplined oscillators that includes a CSAC-based version (the GPS-2700). It boasts an impressive ±2 µs of 24-hour holdover while consuming <1.4 W. Other key attributes include its wide input voltage range and its multiple signal outputs.
Other well-established applications include the underwater seismic exploration industry. Arrays of hundreds of CSACs are used to image the ocean-bottom. The CSAC’s low power enables extended battery life/mission time and therefore reduces the overall cost of deployment. Its frequency accuracy versus power consumption is unrivaled: Aging rates are typically <9 × 10 /month while the power –10 consumption is <120 mW.
Predictable long-term performance is important for all products. For CSAC-based products, vacuum within the physics package is key to maintaining reliability. Due to a number of improvements within the manufacturing process, CSACs have shown an ability to maintain vacuum integrity over long duration of operation.
The thermally-improved CSAC released in 2016 has thus far been a success. The temperature range has been extended to 70 °C without any compromise to reliability or performance. CSACs will continue to be monitored over the long-term in a continuing effort to improve the product.
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