Taitien: Leading Taiwan’s Quartz Industry Into the New 5G Era

Taitien has been manufacturing quartz frequency control products for consumer electronics and high-end applications since 1976. Forty years on, the Taiwan-based company has expanded its operations worldwide, boasting manufacturing facilities across Taiwan, the US, and China.

Regularly named among the top five-thousand large scale enterprises in Taiwan, it’s no surprise that Taitien has built a reputation as a leader in the quartz industry given that it is the first in Taiwan who possessed the capability and production capacity in manufacturing their own quartz bars and High-Frequency Fundamental (HFF) inverted-mesa blanks.

With over twenty invention patents to its name, the company remains dedicated to research and development, investing around 4.4% of its revenue back into new technologies. Such an approach will no doubt prove crucial to meeting the new technical threshold for ultra-precise frequency controls that’s emerged during the race to 5G.

The Importance of Frequency Controls
Frequency control is a fundamental part of most electronic products. In crystal oscillators, quartz removes noise and stabilizes the frequency as it transmits a signal, thereby improving the accuracy of timekeeping, positioning, and navigating.

They can therefore be used across a vast range of applications, from high-end applications in aerospace to regular consumer electronics, like clocks and phones. Taitien points to wireless, wired, data centers, and industrial/consumer as four main application areas of quartz components. Hence, it’s vital that companies producing frequency control products have access to vast quantities of it.

Taitien claims to be the pioneer in Taiwan possessing the technology to produce their own quartz. ‘We are one of the two leading companies in the world – following Epson – that possesses the photolithography technology used to produce HFF inverted-mesa blanks,’ says C.Y. Teng, Director of R&D at Taitien.

What Kind of Products does Taitien Offer?

Timing Modules
Among Taitien’s most popular products are its timing modules, which includes the DT-6565. Using GPS Disciplined Oscillators to ensure accuracy down to the nanosecond, these modules can be used for timekeeping and positioning in many different contexts – be it in radars, satellites, or critical infrastructure.

The DT-6565 is remarkable because its timekeeping capabilities are almost identical to that of an atomic clock, with a holdover performance of 1.5us over twenty-four hours. This greatly outperforms the industry standard for similar-sized timing modules.

Oven Controlled Crystal Oscillators heat quartz in an ‘oven’, protecting the crystal from external changes in temperature, gravity, and vibration. This ensures that the frequency and performance of the oscillator is both highly stable and accurate.

As a result of their continued research into environmental resistance, Taitien’s OCXOs have an exceptionally low aging rate of just 0.2 ppm a year, while the phase noise floor (which can reach -180dBc/Hz) is far lower than competing products.

With 5G here to stay, the demand for OCXO is on the rise; to operate a small 5G base station currently requires at least one OCXO, while a larger station could require more than ten. Given that Taitien is currently one of the only OCXO manufacturers in Asia (accounting for over 3% of the OCXO global market share), the company looks to benefit massively from the race to 5G. ‘Our OCXOs are largely used in network communication for large base stations – customers include well-known manufacturers like NSN and Huawei,’ says C.Y. Teng.

Maneuvering the Pandemic, Looking to the Future Unlike most companies, Taitien claims that due to the COVID-19 the demand for its products has increased. ‘Our supply chain was well-prepared even before the pandemic, while many of our competitors were unprepared to take orders,’ says C.Y. Teng. Between the pandemic and the onset of 5G, business is booming. It looks set to stay that way.

‘The arrival of 5G and the rise of AIoT has greatly shifted the technical threshold when it comes to quartz frequency control products. These new ventures require higher precision and higher environmental resistance, which our quartz-based frequency control products can provide. Maintaining production capacity to meet these new technical requirements will be key to ensuring continued success.’

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