What is Tight Stability of Crystal Oscillator?

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- everything RF

May 7, 2022

Tight frequency stability of a crystal oscillator specifies its frequency deviation from the nominal frequency over a given operating temperature range (°C) in a short period of time (usually 1 to 10 seconds). It is usually represented in ppm (parts per million) or ppb (parts per billion). The tight frequency stability is a parameter of the crystal oscillator that is usually mentioned in the datasheet with some manufacturers representing it as frequency stability (in ppm or ppb) of the crystal oscillator over the operating temperature range (°C).

For instance, consider a crystal oscillator with an output frequency of 32,768 KHz and have a tight frequency stability of ±12 ppm over a temperature range from -40 °C to +85 °C. A tight frequency stability of ±12 ppm means that the crystal oscillator frequency of operation can vary 0.393216 Hz.

In other words, the actual output frequency of this oscillator is in between the 32768.393216 Hz and 32767.606784 Hz across the temperature range from -40 °C to +85 °C. 

Note: An oscillation frequency at 25 °C is used as the reference point (i.e., frequency deviation (ppm/ppb) is zero at this temperature).

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