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Journal of Sensors
Volume 2010, Article ID 362439, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/362439
Research Article

Vertical MEMS Resonators for Real-Time Clock Applications

1STMicroelectronics, Via Arnesano Km 5 c/o Distretto Tecnologico ISUFI, Palazzina B, 73100 Lecce, Italy
2STMicroelectronics, Via Tolomeo 1 20010 Cornaredo, MI, Italy

Received 20 July 2010; Accepted 15 October 2010

Academic Editor: P. Siciliano

Copyright © 2010 A. Pomarico et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

MEMS resonators are today widely investigated as a desirable alternative to quartz resonators in real-time clock applications, because of their low-cost, integration capability properties. Nevertheless, MEMS resonators performances are still not competitive, especially in terms of frequency stability and device equivalent resistance (and, then, power consumption). We propose a new structure for a MEMS resonator, with a vertical-like transduction mechanism, which exhibits promising features. The vertical resonator can be fabricated with the low-cost, high performance THELMA technology, and it is designed to be efficiently frequency tunable. With respect to the commonly investigated lateral resonators, it is expected to have lower equivalent resistances and improved large-scale repeatability characteristics.