What is a DCXO?

What is a digitally controlled crystal oscillator?
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Editorial Team - everything RF

Nov 10, 2018

Digital Controlled Crystal Oscillators (DCXOs) are crystal oscillators whose output/oscillation frequency can be controlled digitally i.e. the output frequency generation is controlled by a x-bit binary word supplied from an external source. They are usually placed in a temperature controlled housing to provide a highly accurate output signal.

Since DCXOs are digital, their frequency can be controlled very easily from an external source. As a result they tend to be more accurate and stable than VCXOs that require voltage regulation to change the frequency. We are also starting to see DCXOs replacing VC-TCXOs (voltage-controlled temperature-compensated crystal oscillator), especially in the mobile manufacturing industry, as VC-TCXOs are bigger in size, expensive and need external components.

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