One or more clocks are required in nearly every electronic system. Across applications such as microprocessors, audio and video, and wireless communication, the noise, frequency, and power consumption requirements of these clocks can vary dramatically. Modern electronic devices are combining more features into a product than ever before, and with so many different clocks required, generating them can become complicated and expensive.
Today, the vast majority of clocks are generated from quartz crystals references. Although crystals provide both low phase noise and excellent frequency stability, they must be precisely machined which places lower limits on both their cost and flexibility. In this presentation, the conventional methods of clock generation and their limitations will be discussed followed by an introduction to some of the innovations Silicon Labs has brought to the timing market. This includes both products that use quartz crystals and those that replace them. These devices both increase performance while reducing complexity and cost.