Mini Rubidium Atomic Clock Supports 5G, DoD, More - Inside GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems Engineering, Policy, and Design

Mini Rubidium Atomic Clock Supports 5G, DoD, More

Microchip Technology Inc. has released a smaller-footprint, higher-performance atomic clock to meet core telecomm, military and critical infrastructure requirements for wider thermal range, quicker lock and higher stability. Communication networks moving to 5G, critical-infrastructure data centers and high-dynamic military platforms all rely implicitly upon precise timing. One target application is inside inspection and testing of 5G installations, where GNSS signals may not be available.

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High-performance military aircraft need precise timing. Image courtesy Microchip

The company’s 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 low monthly drift rate, short-term stability and stability during temperature changes maintain precise frequency and timing during extended GNSS outages or for applications such as military airplanes where large rack-mount clocks are not practical.

The device operates over a temperature range of -40 to +75 Celsius and quickly achieves lock. In an aircraft application this enable faster power-up of critical communication and navigation systems in extreme climates.

The MAC-SA5X integrates a one pulse per second (1PPS) input pin for fast frequency calibration, obviating the need for extra circuitry and saving time and development cost. The same footprint as previous-generation miniature atomic clock technology further reduces development time and eases transition to higher performance.

Designed and manufactured in the U.S., the MAC-SA5X operates to these specifications:

Microchip three• <5.0E-11 frequency stability over operating temperature

• <5.0E-11 per month aging rate; 6.3-watt power consumption

• 47 cc in volume.

• ovenized crystal oscillator (OCXO)-sized package of 50.8 mm x 50.8 mm.

The 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.