Sand9: The stealth MEMS timing startup

-November 25, 2013

I’m happy to have found out about this relatively new MEMS company. The first two products, TM061 and TM361, introduced  on September 3, 2013 were called “The first precision MEMS timing products for the Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobile”.  On November 18, 2013, the TM651 was introduced for communications infrastructure, industrial and military applications. Let’s examine these products.



Figure 1: MEMS enables integration of all external timing to provide a small footprint


Traditional electrostatic MEMS vs. Sand9’s Piezoelectric design


Platform Strategy


MR™ and TSMR™ are Sand 9’s MEMS Resonator (MR) and Temperature Sensing MEMS Resonator (TSMR) platforms.


MR (TM061) is resonator only. No temperature sensor, heater or oscillator circuit.


TSMR (TM361) has a built-in temperature sensor and heater for temperature compensation/calibration.


TCMO (TM651)  This architecture consists of a piezoelectric MEMS resonator hermetically bonded to an RF ASIC containing oscillator and temperature compensation circuitry. TCMO products provide ultra-precision RMS jitter at 300 fs maximum from 12 kHz to 20 MHz and offer industry-leading rise/fall time edge rates at 250 ps maximum.






This was the first precision micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) timing device based on MR platform.




The TM061 and TM361 are compact MEMS designs in a WLCSP package




This was the first precision MEMS timing device based on TSMR platform


Temperature compensation (−30 to +85 °C)




The temperature compensation is done with a mechanically compensated MEMS resonator.

An AT cut quartz frequency stability is 20 ppm

A pure silicon resonator frequency stability is 3,000 ppm

The Sand9 devices achieve frequency stability of <200 ppm with their patented design



Phase noise

Phase noise is typical result when TM361 resonator is paired with a 1.8V oscillator


The TM651 has a highly integrated, small-sized design in an LGA package

Frequency stability

TM651 frequency stability after analog temperature compensation

Phase noise

Start-up time

TM651 start-up time over temperature

Rugged design


TCMO is >10X more rugged than typical quartz


Testing conducted by MTI-Milliren:

  • MIL-STD-202: Method 214 – Random Vibration (x, y, z axis)
  • Test Condition 1H [0.60PSD | 29.28G RMS] 90 min
  • Results: G-Sensitivity < 1 E-10/G [<0.1 ppb/G]

For more information visit the Sand9 website

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