A 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 very precise frequency. This frequency is commonly used to keep track of time (as in quartz wristwatches), to provide a stable clock signal for digital integrated circuits, and to stabilize frequencies for radio transmitters and receivers. The most common type of piezoelectric resonator used is the quartz crystal, but other piezoelectric materials including polycrystaline ceramics are used in similar circuits.
Quartz crystals are manufactured for frequencies from a few tens of kilohertz to tens of megahertz. More than two billion crystals are manufactured annually. Most are used for consumer devices such as wristwatches, clocks, radios, computers, and cellphones. Quartz crystals are also found inside test and measurement equipment, such as counters, signal generators, and oscilloscopes.
Read more about Crystal Oscillator: History, Operation, Electrical Oscillators, Commonly Used Crystal Frequencies, Crystal Structures and Materials, Stability and Aging, Crystal Cuts, Circuit Notations and Abbreviations
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“The crystal sphere of thought is as concentrical as the geological structure of the globe. As our soils and rocks lie in strata, concentric strata, so do all mens thinkings run laterally, never vertically.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)