How to Choose the Best Low-Phase Noise TCXO

Are you tired of dealing with poor signal quality and interference in your electronic devices? If so, then it’s time to pay attention to the often overlooked but crucial component – the TCXO. Specifically, we will delve into the world of low phase noise tcxo, and how they can revolutionize your electronics experience.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what phase noise is and why it’s essential for optimal device performance. We’ll also guide you through the factors to consider when choosing a low phase noise tcxo that meets your specific requirements. From frequency stability to power consumption and price, we’ve got you covered!

But first things first – let’s understand what exactly phase noise is and why it matters. So buckle up as we embark on this journey into the realm of low-phase noise TCXOs!

What is Phase Noise and Why is it Important?

Phase noise refers to the fluctuations in frequency or timing of an electronic signal that cause interference and degrade signal quality in the electronics world.

Understanding the importance of phase noise is crucial. Imagine attempting to tune in to your favorite radio station, only to be met with static and distortion. This frustration mirrors what phase noise can inflict upon your electronic devices.

Whether applied in a wireless communication system, radar application, or advanced scientific instrument, achieving low-phase noise is paramount for accurate and reliable performance. It guarantees that signals are transmitted and received with minimal distortion and interference.

By employing high-quality TCXOs (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators) to minimize phase noise, you can elevate the overall performance of your electronic devices. Whether dealing with data transmission or sensitive measurements, low-phase noise ensures clearer reception and improved accuracy.

To attain optimal performance from your electronic devices, understanding and addressing phase noise is crucial. Choosing a low-phase noise TCXO tailored to your specific needs prevents unwanted distortions from hindering seamless connectivity or precise measurements. Let’s delve deeper into the process of selecting the best low-phase noise TCXO!

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Low-Phase Noise TCXO

Choosing the right low phase noise tcxo involves considering several critical factors that directly impact its performance and reliability for your unique application.

Frequency Stability

Frequency Stability is a crucial factor in selecting a low phase noise tcxo, measuring how accurately the oscillator maintains its frequency over time. It indicates the deviation of the output frequency from its nominal value.

In applications requiring precise timing or synchronization, like telecommunications, navigation systems, and scientific equipment, frequency stability is vital. Any deviation can lead to errors or inaccurate measurements.

Choosing a low phase noise tcxo with excellent frequency stability, measured in parts per million (ppm) over temperature range or aging rate, ensures optimal performance. Consider the desired accuracy and application requirements, understanding that higher stability often comes with an increased cost but is worth it for critical precision applications.

Temperature Stability

Temperature Stability is a crucial consideration in choosing a low phase noise tcxo, referring to its ability to maintain consistent frequency output over a broad range of temperature variations.

In environments with extreme temperatures, electronic devices’ performance and accuracy can be affected. A TCXO with good temperature stability ensures reliable operation in harsh conditions.

When evaluating temperature stability, look for specifications like parts per million (ppm) or hertz per degree Celsius (Hz/°C). These values indicate how much the frequency output changes with each degree Celsius change in temperature.

Opting for a low phase noise tcxo with minimal temperature-induced frequency fluctuations ensures precise timing and synchronization in various environmental conditions, enhancing the overall performance and reliability of your electronic system. Carefully consider this parameter when making your decision!

Aging Characteristics

When choosing a low phase noise tcxo, consider aging characteristics, representing the change in frequency stability over time. All oscillators age, but the rate varies, specified in parts per billion (ppb) per day or ppb per year. A lower aging rate implies better long-term stability and less frequent recalibration.

Select a TCXO with an acceptable aging rate for your application’s precision needs. Opt for a low aging rate if prolonged precision is required.

Additionally, factor in temperature sensitivity during the oscillator’s lifetime. Some TCXOs may exhibit significant frequency variations as they age under different temperatures.

Understanding and considering these aging characteristics ensures accurate timing and reliable performance of your system over time.

Power Consumption

When selecting a low phase noise tcxo, power consumption is a crucial factor. It signifies the electrical power needed for efficient operation, with lower consumption being advantageous for energy conservation, reduced costs, and extended battery life in portable devices. It also minimizes heat dissipation, impacting overall performance and reliability.

Refer to the TCXO’s datasheet for power consumption details, including current draw and supply voltage requirements. Choose a low-power TCXO that aligns with your application needs, balancing phase noise performance and energy efficiency for optimal functionality.

Key considerations are frequency stability, temperature stability, aging characteristics, price, types (OCX vs VCOC vs DTC), and understanding specifications.


When selecting a low phase noise tcxo, price is a significant consideration but shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor. While budget constraints are inevitable, compromising on quality for a lower price may lead to performance issues. Striking a balance between cost and performance is crucial.

Compare prices from different manufacturers, ensuring they align with the TCXO’s features and specifications. Higher-priced options may offer superior stability and overall performance. Consider long-term costs, as a slightly higher upfront investment in a high-quality TCXO can save money on maintenance or replacements.

While price matters, a thorough assessment of other factors, such as stability, is essential for making an informed decision.

Understanding the Specifications of a Low-Phase Noise TCXO

Choosing the best low phase noise tcxo for your application requires a thorough understanding of the specifications. Consider the following key parameters.

Frequency Stability 

Seek a low-phase noise TCXO with excellent frequency stability to ensure accurate and reliable performance over time and varying conditions.

Temperature Stability 

Opt for a TCXO with good temperature stability to maintain consistent output frequency even in extreme temperature environments.

Aging Characteristics 

Select a low-phase noise TCXO with minimal aging characteristics to prevent drift or aging of components, ensuring prolonged consistent operation.

Power Consumption 

Consider the power consumption requirements of your application. Choose a low-phase noise TCXO with lower power consumption to reduce energy costs and minimize heat dissipation issues.


While considering cost, prioritize quality and desired specifications. Evaluate options within your budget to ensure a balance between affordability and performance.

Now, let’s briefly explore common types of high-performance oscillators used as references in applications requiring low-phase noise.

OCXOs (Oven-Controlled Crystal Oscillators) 

Provide exceptional long-term stability by maintaining constant operating temperatures using built-in ovens.

VCOCs (Voltage-Controlled Crystal Oscillators) 

Allow precise control over output frequencies by applying voltage modulation signals.

DTCXOs (Digitally Temperature-Compensated Crystal Oscillators) 

Combine the benefits of OCXOs and VCOCs by utilizing digital temperature compensation mechanisms.

Understanding these parameters and oscillator types will help you make an informed decision, ensuring the optimal performance of the selected low phase noise tcxo in your specific application.

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