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New digital compensation technique for the design of a microcomputer compensated crystal oscillator

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3 Author(s)
Azcondo, F.J. ; Dept. de Electron., Cantabria Univ., Santander, Spain ; Blanco, J.C. ; Peire, J.

The study of the stability of frequency sources is a matter of major interest due to the evolution of communication and instrumentation systems resulting in increasing the number of channels in a limited spectrum, and reducing size and power consumption. The paper relates laboratory experiences that explain the behavior versus temperature of thickness-mode quartz crystal resonators (AT- and SC-cut crystals) that are applied to the control of frequency sources, and the performance of digital compensation techniques. Prototypes of microcomputer-compensated crystal oscillators (MCXO's) have been developed to compare the compensation performance using the resonator as the temperature sensor against the use of an external sensor and verify the reduction of compensation errors due to thermal lags and hysteresis. The design of a CMOS integrated circuit for the MCXO is also included. A frequency correction method that does not modify the crystal resonance has been implemented in the circuit. This allows sensing of the temperature by means of the crystal and improving its long-term stability (aging). A new frequency comparator is also introduced. Its aim is to obtain the difference between two very close frequencies at its output, without being affected by the phase variations that the new frequency correction method and the digital circuit introduce. This detector has been implemented to get a high-resolution thermometric frequency and to realize a frequency-locked loop that includes a crystal controlled local oscillator, allowing the use of the MCXO as a good short-term stability source

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Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 3 )