alixHosted by ECN's Editorial Director, Alix Paultre, the Tinker's Toolbox is ECN's web-based interview show where we talk about the latest technology, components, and design issues for the electronic design engineering community.

Steve Fossi of SymmetricomIn this episode of the Tinker's Toolbox, we talk to Steve Fossi of Symmetricom about their new chipscale atomic clock (CSAC), the first commercial device of its kind. The CSAC is only 16cc in volume, weighs only 35 grams, requires only 115mW of power, and provides time accuracy two orders of magnitude better than the higher-power quartz-based solutions it replaces.


Another link to the Podcast can be found here: Symmetricom interview  

Here is a copy of the product launch presentation:  Chipscale Atomic Clock Presentation

Here is the press release:

SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock Symmetricom, a world leader in precision time and frequency technologies, announced general availability of the world’s smallest, lowest power atomic oscillator. The company’s newly-released SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) provides the accuracy and stability of atomic clock technology while delivering dramatic improvements in size, weight and power.

The newest member of Symmetricom’s QUANTUM family of atomic oscillators is exceptionally well-suited for portable applications requiring precise synchronization and time keeping in GPS-denied environments. Its accuracy and extremely low power consumption enable the SA.45s CSAC to satisfy a number of demanding portable applications, such as dismounted IED jammers; unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); next-generation man-pack radios, and military handheld GPS units as well as geophysical sensors. The CSAC product is available in standard and military temperature-range configurations.

Symmetricom’s SA.45s CSAC incorporates several technology breakthroughs that offer significant benefits for portable applications. It is only 16cc in volume, weighs only 35 grams, requires only 115mW of power, and provides time accuracy two orders of magnitude better than the higher-power quartz-based solutions it replaces, such as Oven-Controlled Crystal Oscillators (OCXOs) and Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXOs).

“Our new SA.45s CSAC product brings ultra high-precision and low power consumption to a variety of portable and underwater exploration applications,” said Dan Scharre, executive vice president and general manager at Symmetricom. “These applications can’t rely on continuously receiving GPS signals, and until now, traditional quartz-based timing options have forced users to choose between size, accuracy, and power consumption, even while providing less-accurate timing. We leveraged Symmetricom’s extensive history and expertise in providing state-of-the-art timing systems and devices to broadly deliver the first CSAC product to market and to deliver to end-users the best performance in the smallest package at lowest power consumption.”

The advanced technology benefits of Symmetricom’s QUANTUM SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock have already been validated by early adopters. Makers of underwater sensors have used the CSAC’s low power consumption and increased stability to greatly increase mission duration. Users who rely on military GPS systems have found that the CSAC has the stability to maintain synchronization even during long GPS outages, and that it also enables rapid signal reacquisition. And of course, its small size and extremely low power consumption allow them to get these benefits even in manpack systems.

The QUANTUM SA.45s Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC) is available in two versions.
• Option 001, which operates from -10° C to +70°C for commercial applications
• Option 002, which operates from -40°C to +85° C for military applications
The SA.45s CSAC is available now at a U.S. list price starting at $1,500 in small quantities.
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