Pearl Semiconductor, a high-performance timing device company, today announced the first ever true single-die reference clock technology. The advance, called SingleDieTM technology, enables the embedding of a MEMS Surface Acoustic Wave (“SAW”) resonator into a larger CMOS integrated circuit on the same die. The result is a very low-noise, on-chip reference clock platform suitable for a range of automotive and industrial applications in harsh operating environments. The SingleDie technology will be shown at Electronica 2022 in Munich in November.
SingleDie technology developed by Pearl is the result of multiple years of collaboration between Pearl and SilTerra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., a pure-play foundry services company. Pearl uses SilTerra’s AlN Piezo SAW MEMS technology, which offers high-performance integration on CMOS, to build a MEMS resonator on Pearl’s CMOS die where the reference clock is integrated. SilTerra is an automotive IATF16949:2016 qualified production site. Pearl has built on SilTerra’s CMOS technology a programmable and environment-compensated reference clock development platform for silicon that can achieve sub-400 femtosecond jitter performance; frequencies up to 1GHz; high shock and vibration resistance; and operating temperatures of up to 125 degrees Celsius with better than 15ppm stability.
“Pearl’s initiative has yielded a very robust single die technology that is strategically positioned to respond to the growing demand for automotive and industrial semiconductor timing solutions,” said Arjun Kumar Kantimahanti, SVP, Chief Business Office (CBO), SilTerra. “Going forward, using SilTerra’s MEMS Technology, we are confident that Pearl can deliver a highly cost-competitive, high-performance solution to serve the designated market well.”
“This is the beginning of a new era for timing solutions, where reference clocks can be integrated into the same die for higher performance and lower cost,” said Ayman Ahmed, CEO, Pearl Semiconductor. “The collaboration with SilTerra to develop and optimize this unique technology for the timing market is invaluable. Pearl’s SingleDie technology promises a paradigm shift that will result in the world’s first clock chiplet allowing high levels of integration and security.”
The breakthrough brings the first true single die technology to the timing solution market. Traditionally reference clocks are built using a physically separated resonator, requiring two dies or two components, which resulting in a more complex supply chain and imposing constraints on packaging options. With Pearl’s SingleDie technology, the MEMS SAW resonator is implemented through additional mask layers on top of the CMOS devices, taking up a smaller area, ensuring zero thermal latency and lowering the bill of materials. The technology currently is demonstrated in an industry-standard ceramic package, with future smaller plastic packages on its roadmap to deliver world’s first high performance single-die programmable reference clock chiplet.
According to Albany, N.Y.-based Transparency Market Research, chiplets are standard building blocks for developing next-generation automotive platforms and electronics for many applications. Driven by the promise of low-cost customization of hardware, the chiplet market is expected to grow at 41% per year to reach $47.2B by 2031.
Both Pearl and SilTerra will be exhibiting at Electronica 2022. Pearl Semiconductor will be located in Hall C2, Booth 565 from Nov 15th to Nov 18th in Munich, Germany. SilTerra will be located in Hall B3, Booth 221.