Technology

Glacier’s AnyFrequency™ technologies are unique in the timing industry, as they achieve the rare combination of high levels of performance for the most demanding applications with unit cost competitiveness in the highest volume applications.  And they accomplish this not by relying upon costly, complex-to-manufacture, application-specific technologies such as MEMS.  Instead, Glacier combines innovative circuit design techniques with standard foundry mixed-signal CMOS in creating a single multi-application integrated circuit designed to be customized for a specific application at the time of manufacture by the customer.  This is how Glacier serves the complete 1-billion-unit timing industry with just one product - doing so at product gross margins that few semiconductor companies can achieve.

There’s more to a high-performance synthesizer IC than just a resonator.  In fact, the real challenge in synthesizer design is creating interfaces with surrounding circuitry that don’t degrade the phase jitter performance of the resonator.  In Glacier’s case, that also means designing circuits that can be programmed to interface with a range of logic levels - CMOS, differential CMOS, LVDS, and LVPECL - while delivering ultra-low-jitter performance from either 2.5 or 3.3V supplies.  Most synthesizer IC vendors respond to this issue by creating a proprietary resonator structure with extremely high Q and then using standard output drive circuitry to achieve mid-market phase jitter performance.  Glacier takes a balanced approach to achieving phase jitter performance appropriate for over 90% of the timing market, using a standard-cut 20 or 40 MHz crystal resonator and minimizing noise from output drivers to preserve resonator phase jitter.  The uniqueness of Glacier’s approach has been recognized by the US Patent Office in two patents for its output drivers - 7,768,309 and 7,982,500.

But the real power of Glacier’s AnyFrequency™ technology lies not just with phase jitter, but with the ability to real-time program functionality and performance.  An innovative approach to the design and structure of a non-volatile memory cell suitable for implementation on standard foundry mixed-signal CMOS processes creates a non-destructive fusible link-based circuit that is insensitive to temperature, process and voltage variations.  Relying on lithography techniques, Glacier’s lateral poly fuse memory technology (US Patent 7,545,665) supports the production yields required for high volume products while also enabling fully programmable functionality for supporting a wide range of low-to-mid-volume products - with just one integrated circuit.

Instead of relying upon esoteric manufacturing technologies, Glacier combines innovative circuit design with standard foundry CMOS manufacturing processes and off-the-shelf crystal resonators in delivering high performance with high volume-appropriate cost in uniquely serving the entire timing market with a single integrated circuit.





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