Kyocera Crystal Device has introduced the CX1008 quartz crystal unit for smartphones, wearables and other electronic devices. Measuring just 1mm x 0.8mm, CX1008 delivers the same electrical characteristics as Kyocera’s conventional CX1210 model, enabling it to be adopted without circuit board revision, according to the company.

Crystal units are used to generate highly stable reference signals in digital circuits, based on the unique material characteristic of quartz to oscillate at a precise frequency when a specific voltage is applied. The trend toward smaller, more functional smartphones and wearable devices requires smaller, better-performing crystal units. Traditionally, however, it was believed that miniaturising crystal units beyond a certain point would compromise their performance, since electrical characteristics degraded as the device became smaller.

Kyocera, however, has collaborated with Osaka University Associate Professor Kazuya Yamamura to develop a crystal element design technology—the plasma CVM technology—to accelerate the development of new low-frequency, high-frequency and high-precision oscillators for such applications as automotive electronics, advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies, IoT devices, wireless network base stations and 5G mobile communications.

This method uses plasma-generated neutral radicals and a chemical reaction at the surface of an object to control a quartz crystal with highly precise surface conditions and thickness, according to the company.

Samples of the CX1008 will be available in May with mass production slated for early 2018.