The growth of MEMS based crystal oscillators has been one of the most recent developments in the field of crystal oscillators. Manufactured using similar process as that of Si-MEMS oscillators with steps such as photolithography, etching, metallization and so on, these products offer a higher degree of stability and accuracy apart from offering the much needed miniaturization. These standout features of QMEMS will not only give way to more sophisticated designs but also open a whole new bunch of applications of crystal oscillators especially in the healthcare and consumer sectors in future. MEMS based crystal oscillators also post a strong competition to the fast growing Si-based oscillators, which are seen as a huge rival to the quartz based devices by some of the industry experts. Market leaders such as Epson Toyocom have already realized the future potential of QMEMS and have made significant progress towards the development of this technology.
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Currently, consumer electronics segment posts the largest demand for crystal oscillators due to an exponential growth in the sales of smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Another growing application sector of these oscillators is the telecommunications segment. The large scale deployment of 4G and LTE networks in developing countries has been driving the TCXO and OCXO market for quite some time now. With the ever increasing bandwidth requirements by consumers, the demand for crystal oscillators in this segment will only increase further.
There has been a considerable increase in the sales of SUVs luxury cars in the U.S. and European countries over the past few years.Such steep growth also creates a demand for high-end automobile electronics for applications such as engine control, TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System), and ABS. The healthcare segment has witnessed a rise in the number of electronic devices and equipment for a variety of applications such as radiology, orthopedics, cardiology, and various types of surgeries. This market is spiked upwards with numerous developments in miniature level medical electronics such as implantable medical systems and minimally invasive surgical systems.
The common criterion for the growth of Crystal Oscillators Market in all these application segments is the miniaturization of these devices. The development of QMEMS has been a significant initiative in that direction as they have allowed the size-reduction of crystal chip and offer better frequency tolerance and control over possible frequency dips without decreasing the mechanical stability. As for the future of crystal oscillators, a lot will depend on what initiatives the manufacturers take towards the further development of MEMS technology.
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