Frequently Asked Questions

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Answers to some frequently asked questions for FIPO, Cardinal Components' family of Field Instantly Programmable Oscillators.

1 Who is Cardinal Components?
Cardinal Components, founded in 1986, is an ISO 9001:2000-certified manufacturer of Crystals, Oscillators, TCXO, VCXO, TCVCXO, FIPO, and MIPO quartz based products.
2 What is the FIPO Family of oscillators?
FIPO is Cardinal Components' family of Field Instantly Programmable Oscillators. The family consists of programmers (similar to PROM programmers) and blank oscillators that you, the customer, can program to your specific needs and specifications. The operative word is "FIELD", so you, the customer, can program your specification in the field when you need it and not wait for days, weeks or months.
3 Why does Cardinal supply the FIPO Family of oscillators?
Cardinal surveyed the customer base and listened to what the customers were requesting. The customers said they viewed oscillators as an afterthought in the design and never allowed enough time to manufacture custom oscillators as required. This caused many product or program delays and or non-optimized products introduced.
4 How does the FIPO family work?
FIPO is very simple to operate. With the PG-3000 and PG-3100 programmers, you simply place your desired packaged blank oscillator on the unit and set your desired parameters.

Programmable parameters of the blank oscillator include frequency (out to 6 digits of accuracy), voltage (2.7V, 3.3V, and 5V), output control (synchronous or asynchronous), tri-state (enable or power-down), and CMOS, TTL, LVDS, and LVPECL logic levels. Don't forget that the Cardinal FIPO is capable of being programmed twice, so if your specification changes, you get to program the part again.

The PG-3000 and PG-3100 programmer's are compatible with windows 98SE, XP, and 2000 operating systems. The programmers will come with a USB connector facilitating setup. Simply plug the USB cable from the programmer into your computer and install the software driver. The PG-3000 is capable 0f programming frequencies from 1MHz to133MHz. The PG-3100 is capable of programming frequencies from 1MHz to 700MHz. Frequencies from 150MHz to 700MHz are LVDS and LVPECL logic levels only.
5 What technology is FIPO based on?
The FIPO is PROM based phase lock loop technology and Cardinals' patented software and development tools.
6 What are the benefits of FIPO to the user?
The benefits are many:
  1. Instantly Programmable – you don't have to depend on anyone to control your destiny.
  2. One part in inventory – Just think of component cost reduction, one part to procure, one part to qualify, one part for prototype to full production and no delay.
  3. No custom inventory liability.
  4. Jitter performance comparable to standard fixed frequency oscillators.
Peak to Peak Jitter < 80 pS at 1,000,000 cycles RMS Jitter < 9 pS at 1,000,000 cycles
7 What tools are available for the user?
The PG-3000 and the PG-3100 programmers are available now. Adapter sockets for different oscillator packages are also available.
8 How hard is it to program FIPO?
Not hard at all. Just call your Cardinal rep or distributor for a demo, (yes even sales people can program the FIPO family of oscillators.)
9 What applications can utilize FIPO?
The FIPO family of oscillators can be used in most any application. Applications Include, wireless, test & measurement, computers, security, consumer products and almost any application where standard oscillators are used today.
10 What frequency range is FIPO?
The FIPO family of oscillators ranges from 1MHz to 700 MHz.
11 What package options are offered?
Currently, 5 package options are available. The industry standard metal can called the 14 pin through hole, half size metal can 8 pin through hole, a plastic surface mount J-Lead package, a 5 x 7 ceramic surface mount package, and a 5 x 3.2 ceramic surface mount package.
12 Is FIPO available in Tri-State or power down modes?
The FIPO is programmable for both tri-state enable and power down modes.
13 What voltage range is FIPO available in?
The FIPO is programmable for three voltage ranges 2.7V, 3.3V, and 5.0V.
14 What stability is FIPO available in?
FIPO is available at 20ppm, 25ppm, 50ppm, and 100ppm stability levels at 0C to +70C and 25ppm, 50ppm, and 100ppm at 40C to +85C operating temperatures.
15 What is the difference between FIPO and other programmable oscillators?
The primary differences are clear:
  1. Field Programmable (You can program yourself)
  2. Field Programmable (Cardinal authorized distributors can program)
  3. Field Programmable (Cardinal factory can program for you)
  4. No custom inventory liability
  5. Parts are 2 X programmable so you never scrape any inventory
  6. 1 blank part covers many needs
  7. Accelerate product development
  8. Supports just-in-time manufacturing
  9. Cost-effective insurance policy against critical part shortages
  10. Provides the speed and flexibility manufacturers need to be competitive in today's market.
16 What is the difference between FIPO and conventional oscillators?
The FIPO is the same footprint and physical size as standard oscillators. There are a few electrical differences. It is recommended that you check our web site for the latest specification.
17 What are the output characteristics?
The FIPO blank oscillators can be programmed at 2.7V to 66MHz CMOS/TTL, 3.3V to 100 MHz CMOS/ TTL, or 5.0V to 133 MHz in either CMOS/TTL. LVPECL and LVDS outputs are available at 3.3V only.
18 Duty cycle (symmetry) available options in FIPO?
Tight duty cycle (45% Min, 55 % Max) is available for FIPO. See datasheet for all detailed specifications.
19 Can FIPO be used in production product?
Absolutely! Cardinal FIPO utilizes state-of-the-art technology in wafer fabrication, automation and clean room assembly in the Far East with production programming in the US. In addition, Cardinal has certified production programmers. OEM Customers and Contract Manufacturers can purchase Cardinal Certified programmers from Cardinal Components and have the ability, in house, to program and brand around 2,000 parts per hour. Cardinal authorized distributors have in house capability around the world with local stock to service your immediate production needs.
20 What about Jitter?
First generation programmable oscillators had a problem with jitter. Most applications today work fine within our RMS jitter specifications. See datasheet for all detailed specifications.
21 What is FIPO lead time?
One of the key features of FIPO is that you can hold blanks in inventory and not be worried about long lead times. All orders are delivered just-in-time.
22 Who stocks FIPO?
Cardinal stocks FIPO and FIPO programmers at its Wayne, New Jersey's corporate headquarters. In addition, Cardinal Components authorized distributors stock all products. Check out our web site for a complete listing of Reps and Distributors.
23 How can I order FIPO?
Ordering FIPO is as easy as calling Cardinal authorized distributors, calling Cardinal direct, or on our website.
24 What is FIPO guaranteed data retention?
FIPO ASIC technology is based on PROM, produced by one of the largest US semiconductor companies. The technology guarantees data-retention of 10 years at elevated temperature of 85 degrees C.
25 How does FIPO compare in pricing to other programmable oscillators?
On a standard mix of oscillators, Cardinal FIPO is cost effective against longer lead time fixed frequency oscillators. A big savings is realized as your frequency increases.
26 How does FIPO compare to standard products?
FIPO products are pin and functionally compatible, without the long wait for process customization.
27 Why should I choose FIPO over standard oscillators?
Availability, faster product development, quick prototyping, insurance against critical parts shortages, and you control what you need and when.
28 Is there an alternate source for FIPO?
All competitive standard oscillators are alternate source for the FIPO products. However, Cardinal is planning to produce all products in at least two Far East locations, thus providing its own back up.
29 How do I obtain literature and samples of FIPO?
Call your local Cardinal representative, distributor or check out our web site.
30 How do I purchase the FIPO system of programmers and blank oscillators?
Call your local Cardinal representative, distributor, or log on to our web site.
31 Is 133 MHz the highest frequency Cardinal can produce?
Cardinal can produce up to 700 MHz utilizing its line of programmable oscillators. Please contact Cardinals authorized distributors, reps, or direct sales department to service your specific needs.
32 What is the difference between the 2X programmable and the dual programmable oscillator.
The 2X programmable oscillators allow you to program the oscillator a second time and change all the parameters to new values. The dual is a derivative of the 2X programmable with a metal mask change making the dual a one time programmable with two different frequencies. Logic 0 or logic 1 on pin one switches frequency from F0 to F1.
33 Is it possible to use the Cardinal Programmable Oscillator (PLL technology) and drive another PLL in my circuit, or will my circuit be too noisy?
While all circuits are designed differently, and Cardinal cannot be aware of all possible designs, Cardinal customers are using the FIPO low jitter technology (CPP, CPPL, CPPFX, & CPPD) to directly drive other PLL circuits.
34 How many different adapters does Cardinal offer?
Cardinal CPP series currently has 5 different package offerings:
  1. Style 1 - Full size can, uses integrated Ziff socket
  2. Style 4 - Half size can, uses integrated Ziff socket
  3. Style 5 - 5 x 3.2 SMD, requires SC-5320 socket
  4. Style 7 - 5 x 7 SMD, requires SC 2000 socket
  5. Style 8 - Plastic SMD, requires SC 2500 socket
  6. Style 9 - 9.4 X 11.6 Metal SMD, requires socket SC 3000
35 Is the FIPO PECL output part the same footprint as the standard FIPO.
At the present time, the Cardinal LVPECL and LVDS outputs are offered in a 9.6 x 11.4 metal surface mount package and a 5 x 7 ceramic surface mount package.
36 Can I combine all the different packages and frequencies to obtain a preferred bulk mix price?
Yes, with the Cardinal FIPO product line, Frequency and package really don't matter as you move up in volume. So combining of mix is encouraged. Let us service your entire product mix with our FIPO product line and yield all the benefits and see the results go directly to your bottom line.
37 Many reference designs recommend not using a programmable part, why?
The primary reason is the JITTER performance of the programmable oscillators that our competitors manufacture exceed 300 pS of pk - pk jitter. The Cardinal products are significantly better, they meet the Belcore spec of <100 pS. Cardinal: pk-pk jitter < 80 pS at 1,000,000 cycles (CPPL, CPPFX, CPPD) Cardinal: rms jitter < 9 pS at 1,000,000 cycles (CPPL, CPPFX, CPPD).
38 Why does the Cardinal FIPO product perform so well in Jitter testing vs competitive products?
Cardinal has patented its process in quartz, packaging techniques, the programmer and its programming algorithm to yield a high performance programmable oscillator servicing the fixed frequency market.
39 How do I go about calibrating the programmer and how often should it be calibrated?
The unit is shipped calibrated from the factory. Cardinal recommends calibration of the programmer once per year. The unit can be sent back to Cardinal for calibration, or a certified calibration house can calibrate it.
40 What data does Cardinal supply me with for qualification samples.
For qualification samples, Cardinal serializes the units, supplies all test data and if requested, we supply jitter test data.


Answers to some frequently asked questions to MIPO, Cardinal's family of multi-frequency in-circuit, re-configurable programmable oscillators.

1 What is MIPO?
MIPO (Multi-frequency In-circuit re-configurable Programmable Oscillator) is Cardinal Components' new family of programmable oscillators. The MIPO is a multiple output (up to 6 frequencies) oscillator. This oscillator can be programmed many times and optionally re-configured in the circuit using the I2C interface.
2 Can distributors program the MIPO parts?
Yes. Authorized distributors can program the MIPO family of oscillators.
3 Can you use both PECL and CMOS logic levels operating simultaneously out of one device?
The CCExE, CCExRE, CCTxE, and CCTxRE, series all have PECL and CMOS outputs.
4 Can the customer reprogram these devices?
Only Cardinal Components or an authorized distributor can reprogram the MIPO device. The customer can re-configure the device using I2C and any type of controller.
5 Is a 5V version available?
At this time, there is only a 3.3 Volt version available.
6 What are the typical jitter measurements if all PLL's are being used?
Since this device is a PLL based oscillator, that can use up to 3 PLL's, it is difficult to say what the typical jitter can be. Measurements that were taken showed a max jitter of 400 pS pk-pk.
7 Are all frequencies available?
Most frequencies can be programmed. Please check with Cardinal if there is a special set of frequencies that are required.
8 How many times can I re-configure these devices?
The MIPO can be re-configured as many times as required.
9 How do I re-configure these devices?
Re-configuration must be done through the I2C connection. A hex file which contains the memory locations and data is required. This file can be created using Cardinal Components' JEDEC creator software, which is supplied upon request.
10 What frequency range is MIPO?
The MIPO family of oscillators ranges from 200 KHz to 200 MHz CMOS and 100 MHz to 400 MHz LVPECL.
11 What package options are offered?
Currently, 2 package options are available. The industry standard metal can, called the 14 pin through hole, and a 14 pad SMT package.
12 Does MIPO support output enable/disable function?
Yes, the MIPO has an output enable pin.
13 What happens to the device during a power failure?
The programmed values are stored in EEPROM. When power is restored to the device, the outputs will default to the original values. Any re-configuration values must be reset.
14 What stability is MIPO available in?
The MIPO is only available in 50ppm at 40 degrees C to +85 degrees C. The TCXO version is available in 2.5ppm at 30 degrees C to +70 degrees C.
15 Does this device draw more current than standard oscillators?
A 6 output device, with all of its outputs turned on, will draw less current then 6 separate oscillators.
16 When designing a board, do the micros have to be in close proximity to the MIPO?
The micro-controller should be close enough to the MIPO to operate the I2C data and clock lines correctly.
17 Is there a price savings between using 1 MIPO with 4 outputs as apposed to 4 independent oscillators?
Depending on the source of the single output oscillators, the MIPO will be less expensive to use. The other advantage is that the MIPO will use less board space.
18 What is the output PECL level?
The output is LVPECL. This is a 3.3v device only.
19 How long does it take to re-configure?
When using a micro-controller to re-configure the MIPO, the re-configure time is about 20 mS plus a short amount of time for the PLL to re-lock.
20 What is the I2C address of the MIPO?
When using I2C, the MIPO is treated as a memory device. The I2C address is D2h.
21 Where do I get the software to re-configure the MIPO?
The JEDEC creator software is available from Cardinal Components upon request.
22 Can the outputs be synchronous?
Depending how the dividers for the outputs are configured, oscillator outputs can be synchronized.
23 Do the outputs all track with temperature change?
Since all the outputs are derived from the reference frequency, they all will track with temperature change.
24 Can I turn unwanted outputs off?
Yes, all of the output functions can be controlled through re-configuration.
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