The Benefits of Using Multiple-Output Space Clocks

The use of multiple-output low-noise clocks provides three major advantages to space OEMs.

  1. Board Space Savings. First, they save PC board space in the end equipment design. Instead of using up to 12 separate crystal oscillators, only one package is needed. This is of major significance in efforts to reduce the size of satellite electronic equipment. This also saves engineering time at the OEM because it is no longer necessary to carefully design and coordinate the outputs of different clock oscillators, with that work being done internally already in the multiple output clock.
  • High Performance. Second, multiple output clocks tailored for space applications can deliver superior performance in important ways. For Q-Tech units, skew between outputs is guaranteed to be less than 0.4 nanoseconds, integrated phase jitter (from 12 kHz to 20 MHz) is less than one ps, and low-phase noise at all offsets is superb.
  • Cost Savings. Third, by saving the expense of procuring (up to) 12 separate clock oscillators, overall cost is reduced.

Multiple-output clocks used in a space application must meet the same specs as single-output space-qualified devices. Q-Tech produces multiple differential output LVDS full-space clocks at up to 200 MHz, and also CMOS full-space multiple output clocks at up to 125 MHz, in frequency. The QT625 LVDS series offers two up to 12 synchronous outputs from one flatpack package, and the CMOS version up to four outputs. By providing all outputs through the utilization of one ultra-precision, hermetically sealed quartz crystal resonator, no expense is spared in designing and making the resonator achieve superior performance.

This innovative family of devices has been in production for more than four years and has already built up an impressive list of heritage programs. These units are guaranteed to 100k(Si) TID and are latch-up and upset-free. They are Type 1, Class 2 hybrids per MIL-PRF-55310and they meet MIL-PRF-38534 Class K requirements. They can guarantee up to ±50 PPM from -55C to +125C. These multiple-output clocks provide overall performance and reliability that is at least as high as Q-Tech’s decades-long, industry-leading space clock oscillators.

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