Global approach to frequency

While designers call for ever smaller frequency components, buyers are demanding improved logistics and lower costs. Luckily, AEL can offer both

Since 1991, Crawley-based AEL Crystals has grown to become one of Europes leading vendors of frequency control products. The company states its success is based on a foundation of solid engineering knowledge, while also providing customers with an efficient supply chain management service, no matter where in the world their design or production operations are located. Consistent quality, reliable service and globally competitive prices ate three of AELs stated benefits.

AEL recognises that many Europe customers are predominantly involved in research and development rather than production, thus requiring a specific service. Experienced applications engineers are on hand to visit customers and discuss specifications and designs. Alternatively, AEL can assist from its UK head office.

All sample production is scheduled on the same manufacturing lines as volume production. Once designs reach production, AEL offers continuity of product characteristics to eliminate manufacturing issues during the transition from prototype to full production.

AEL has recently opened sales offices in South East Asia to support volume OEM and CEM production. These offices are strategically located in China (Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing) and Malaysia (Penang and Kuala Lumpur).

Plans are also in place to extend the network into India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
AEL has also implemented a strategic warehouse facility in Kwai Chung, Hong Kong which holds local stock for customers in South East Asia, while raising customer service by improving logistics costs and transit times. Also, product for high volume customers can be shipped directly from Hong Kong to global production facilities, again reducing lead-time and shipping cost.
Product development

The frequency control field is seeing new, innovative developments designed to let engineers exploit a greater degree of flexibility regarding frequency generation.

Market drivers such as improved cleanroon technology, power level reduction, increased silicon complexity, smaller PCBA size and increased RF density, have led to advances in AELs product range.

Component size reduction is at the forefront of new product development, with crystals and oscillators now available in volume production at 4 by 2.5mm, 3 by 2.5mm and 2 by 2.5mm. Further reductions are in development, with 0.75mm high clock oscillators, 2 by 1.6mm and 1.6 by 1.2mm crystals being sampled.

For tighter stability requirements, 0.5ppm VCTCXO devices (predominantly for GPS or telecoms applications) have been released in the last 12-months. Also, 5ppm 5 by 3.2mm and 15ppm 3.2 by 2.5mm clock oscillators are available for development designs now. These products are being designed into high speed data communications applications.

Low power devices are sought by customers for battery powered devices. AEL offers a range of products including 1.5mA clock oscillators, 1.0V clock oscillators, 1.8V or 2.5V VCXO devices, plus 2.0V VCXO and VCTCXO parts. For designs requiring high frequency solutions, sine wave output devices to 700MHz, LVDS/LVPECL devices to 740MHz and ECL devices to 2.4GHz are under development, with sample quantities already available.