China Crystal Oscillator Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020 - 2025)
The China Crystal Oscillator Market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of about 4.4% over the forecast period 2020 to 2025. The crystal oscillator is an electronic oscillator circuit that uses the mechanical resonance of a vibrating crystal of piezoelectric material to create an electrical signal with a precise frequency and provide a better level of performance than that by LC resonator circuits. However, crystal oscillators are still affected by temperature. Even AT-cut crystals will be affected by temperature despite the fact that their operation has been optimized for use over the range of 0 to 70°C. Accordingly, it is possible to compensate for many of the effects using a temperature compensated crystal oscillator (TCXO), providing solutions for telecom, networking, wireless, and embedded applications, and Chinese players are widely manufacturing this oscillator mostly for consumer electronics applications.
The Chines market for crystal oscillator is expected to grow due to the increasing number of emerging applications such as IoT. According to GSMA, China is one of the world’s largest Internet of Things (IoT) markets, with approx 64% of the 1.5 billion global cellular connections in 2019. IoT includes a multitude of networked wireless communications like Bluetooth, including Low Energy and Smart, Zigbee, Z-Wave, 802.15.4, 802.11 b/g/n, and RFID, among others. With increasing IoT devices, the demand for crystal oscillator provides a significant growth in China.
Moreover, under the Chinese government’s “Made in China 2025” industrial master plan, the number of industrial automation operating in the country would expand tenfold to 1.8 million units by 2025. For industrial automation, the crystal oscillator with XO is used to provide reference timing for the SoC’s internal PLLs. It offers an independent, isolated reference clock optimized to provide low-jitter operation with minimal crosstalk. Due to such features, these type of crystal oscillator caters to the high demand for such applications.
Further, the adoption of MEMS-based Oscillators is challenging the market growth in some of the applications due to its unique properties. SiTime MEMS oscillators are beyond ten times lower in vibration sensitivity compared to quartz oscillators providing its unique functionality. Also, MEMS oscillators have several programmable features that improve system performance, including options for frequency output and waveform tuning. These all parameters cater to an intense rivalry for the crystal oscillator market.
However, the impact of Covid-19 affected the market in the past March 2020. But since the production and manufacturing facilities are again resumed currently since April, the demand and supply of crystal oscillators in China are still taking a growth mostly in the all the sector with more demand in the consumer electronics sector. For instance, Chongqing Hi-tech Zone has rolled out policies to help companies resume production during the fight against the novel coronavirus. In TXC Corporation, a total of 1,598 companies involving 102,894 workers in the zone have resumed production and operation.
Key Market Trends
Smartphone Accounts for Significant Market Share
Major companies in the Chinese smartphone industry are Huawei, Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Lenovo. In China, most of the smartphone manufacturing facilities are located in Guangdong province, Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai and are expected to significantly sell more number of the smartphone in China in the coming years. This leads to the demand for crystal oscillators currently for improving the use of WiFi and Bluetooth combo chipsets in smartphone applications.
The crystal oscillators which are being preferred for smartphones are Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO) and Quartz crystal oscillator. At present, mostly all wireless communication functionality found in a handset, including cellular, WiFi, FM, Bluetooth, and GPS, relies on a quartz-based crystal oscillator due to its high-frequency stability a high-quality factor of the resonance and low-temperature drift. Also, TCXO realizes ultra-miniature and high-frequency accuracy suitable for a smartphone.
TXC Corporation provides Dual-Inline-Package (DIP) and Surface Mount Device (SMD) quartz crystal and oscillator products. Its SMD Quartz Crystal Oscillators with CMOS Output, 8N, and 8R Series are designed with specifications of an output frequency range of 4-54 MHz, supply voltage up to 3.63 V, and frequency stability at 25, 50, and 100 ppm, for making them ideal for smartphones.
Further, miniaturized crystals should be able to meet miniaturization demands with characteristics such as low power consumption and high performance. In the past, the characteristics of miniaturized crystals could not meet product application demands. But since TXC launched a series of 1.0mm x 0.8mm x 0.3mm (1008) world's smallest crystal (8A series), this crystal is suitable for portable electronic devices, including smartphones with the typical reference synthesizing frequency at 37.4Mhz, 38.4Mhz, 40Mhz, and 48Mhz.
Furthermore, players are focused on manufacturing an oscillator, which can cover multiple standard frequencies, and they all feature high-frequency traction, low equivalent series resistance (ESR), lead-free, and RoHS compliant. In September 2019, Zhejiang A-crystal Electronic Technology Co., Ltd announced a crystal new version 49series Xtals with frequency from 3.579545MHz to 70MHz. It is a packaged quartz passive crystal oscillator with its simple manufacturing process and high precision, which is widely preferred in consumer electronic devices, including its applications in Bluetooth module 2.4G audio for the smartphone.
However, in the coming future period after five or more years, the usage of MEMs oscillators is expected to provide a significant demand substituting the crystal oscillator with a frequency range of 50 to 625 MHz. MEMs resonator-based clocks and oscillators are filling applications where their precision and stability can match most crystal circuitry while offering greater reliability, increased ruggedness, smaller size, and even lower cost.
Electric Vehicle to Witness Significant Market Growth
According to IEA, China is expected to maintain its global lead with a 57% share of the Electric Vehicle (EV) market in 2030 (28% excluding two/three-wheelers), followed by Europe (26%) and Japan (21%). As the adoption of EVs is expected to surge over the next decade, the industry continues to lower battery costs, improve charging capabilities, and extend EV driving range, along with the focus towards conservation of battery life, which prioritizes the demand for crystal oscillator.
In the past, Kyocera Crystal Device Corporation had succeeded in developing an AT-cut crystal oscillator (KC2520M) with an output frequency of 32kHz, providing the world's first one low current consumption of 80μA. The crystal device providing use in electric vehicles has the mounting area, which is reduced by approximately 40% compared to conventional products (3225-size) available in the market.
Further, the requirement of highly-reliable timing devices with robust performance and tight stability under harsh environments accelerates the growth of crystal oscillators in the electric vehicle. Crystal oscillators provide reference timing, and as the reference timing complexity of the systems increases, the easiest solution is to simply add more quartz-based components to each new design.
Moreover, maintaining temperature and frequency range is most important in the optimized performance and fast prototyping of the vehicle. SiTime Corporation's (acquired by MegaChips having one of its operation fields in China) SiT8925B is the most reliable and the highest quality AEC-Q100 oscillator for high-frequency automotive applications. This device provides the combination of high frequency (up to 137 MHz), high stability (±20 ppm), and widest temperature range (-55 °C to +125 °C) in the smallest 2.0x1.6 mm package. This device also features the industry's best shock and vibration resistance.
Further, in the future, electric vehicle prototypes equipped with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to improve driving safety will be mandatory by installing multiple sensing devices. To address this in February 2020, Nihon Dempa Kogyo announced the development of the industry's smallest 2016-size crystal oscillator for safety applications in the automotive market. It will be having a frequency range of 1.5 to 80MHz with AEC-Q100/AEC-Q200 compliant of reliability standard.
The China Crystal Oscillator Market is competitive and consists of several players providing innovative and sustainable solutions catering to the rivalry in the market. Key players are Seiko Epson Corporation, Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co., Ltd, etc. Recent developments in the market are -
December 2019 - Rakon announced the release of the world’s smallest ASIC based OCXO (Oven Controlled Crystal (Xtal)) Oscillator to meet the stringent requirements of 5G Remote Radio Head (RRH), small cell, optical network, and microwave transmission system applications. The ROM7050PA combines Rakon’s renowned patented Mercury+ ASIC with advanced SC-cut strip crystal technology to deliver excellent frequency stability in a miniature package.
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