TCXOs Make a Come Back

Posted On 15 Aug 2022
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The fire at the AKM facility in Japan in October 2020 caused shock waves through the electronics industry. Among AKM manufactured integrated circuits (IC) was an IC bespoke for the Timing industry that was utilized in many Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO). Overnight, the supply of high stable (±0.5ppm – ±5ppm) TCXOs went to allocation and, in some cases, was auctioned to the highest bidder. The biggest alarm came when companies, who thought they’d done everything to mitigate risk within their supply chain, realized that the majority of the world’s TCXO manufacturers were all completely reliant on the same AKM IC.

Other IC suppliers scrambled to increase capacity and take advantage of the situation. Companies such as NPC and Epson have ICs, but small differences in performance made them unsuitable replacements.

Over the past 10 years, the price of high stable TCXOs has reduced by over 50% driven by mobile and IoT devices where cost has been a limitation in moving toward consumer and mass market applications.  Despite the devastation and revenue impact that the fire had on AKM, the TCXO market has reset itself. TCXO prices are now increasing.

AKM has taken the opportunity to reduce its offering, focussing on ICs suited for smaller TCXO packages like 3.2 x 2.5mm, 2.5 x 2.0mm, and 2.0 x 1.6mm. In order to secure supply, customers are obligated to re-qualify oscillators and, potentially, platforms.

Two manufacturers, Rakon and SiTime, excelled during this period by shifting their focus to developing their own high-grade TCXO products. With its own application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and design team in the UK, Rakon’s focus has been on ultra-stable TCXOs (±0.05ppm – ±2.5ppm) for telecom infrastructure equipment, GNSS, Test & Measurement, and Military applications.

TCXO Options from Rakon

Product Name Package Size Frequency Stability (FvT) Temperature Range (‘C) Output Waveform
RNT7050A 7.0 x 5.0 x 1.5 mm 10 to 50 MHz ±50 to 100 ppb -40 to 95 °C CMOS
      ±100 to 200 ppb -40 to 105 °C Clipped Sinewave
RPT7050A 7.0 x 5.0 x 1.5 mm 1.25 to 52 MHz ±0.1 to 0.5 ppm -55 to 105 °C Sinewave
          Clipped Sinewave
RPT5032A 5.0 x 3.2 x 1.75 mm 1.25 to 52 MHz ±0.1 to 0.5 ppm -55 to 105 °C Sinewave
          Clipped Sinewave
RPT5032N 5.0 x 3.2 x 1.3 mm 12.8 to 26 MHz ±0.2 to 1 ppm -55 to 105 °C Clipped Sinewave


SiTime utilizes MEMS oscillators in its designs. SiTime’s significant growth in the past 5 years is attributed to the performance of its MEMS products. SiTime’s MEMS oscillators challenge and, in some cases, exceed the performance of quartz oscillators. Additionally, SiTime has invested a sizeable amount of resources in developing enhanced TCXO offerings that meet stabilities in the range of ±0.01ppm – ±2.5ppm. SiTime’s manufacturing processes and supply chain also support high volumes with reasonable lead times.  Customers can secure supply through long-term agreements.

SiTime has seen growth in automotive, military, and aerospace markets with their ruggedized Endura™ COTS products. Endura MEMS timing solutions are robust, reliable, and offer than quartz based oscillators. Endura products also conform to MIL-PRF-55310 specifications and can be up-screened in accordance with standard or custom flows.

TCXO Options from SiTime

Product Name Package Size Frequency Stability (FvT) Temperature Range (‘C) Output Waveform
SIT5356 5.0 x 3.2mm 10 pin 1 to 60 MHz ±0.1 – ±0.25ppm -20 to 70’C LVCMOS
        -40 to 85’C Clipped Sinewave
        -40 to 105 °C  
SIT5357 5.0 x 3.2mm 10 pin 60 to 220 MHz ±0.1 – ±0.25ppm -20 to 70’C LVCMOS
        -40 to 85’C Clipped Sinewave
        -40 to 105 °C  
SIT5358 5.0 x 3.2mm 10 pin 1 to 60 MHz ±0.05 ppm -0 to 70’C LVCMOS
        -20 to 70’C Clipped Sinewave
        -40 to 85’C  
        -40 to 105 °C  
SiT5501 7.0 x 5.0mm 10 pin 1 to 60 MHz ±0.01ppm -40 to 85’C LVCMOS
      ±0.02ppm -40 to 105 °C Clipped Sinewave


As TCXO supply has improved, oscillator manufacturers have focused offerings on smaller footprints and standard frequencies like 19.2MHz, 26MHz, and 32MHz. Like most components in the RF industry, lead times have increased for quartz crystals. Custom frequencies can be 20 weeks+ for the quartz crystal. The benefit of a MEMS oscillator where the frequency is programmed directly to the IC itself.

For more information on a full range of TCXO options, contact RFMW today!


About Nick John

Nick John, Supplier Business Manager

Nick John is Supplier Business Manager of Passive Divisions at RFMW. With 20 years of industry experience, Nick has worked in sales, account management, and distribution. Passionate about timing solutions, Nick enjoys the fast-paced environment of the electronics industry, aiding customer designs, and enhancing partnerships with leading suppliers.

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RFMW is the premier pure play technical distributor of RF & Microwave semiconductors, connectors, and components for our customers and suppliers by providing component, value add, and design solutions through a focused technical sales and marketing organization.

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