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An Empirical Phase-Noise Model for MEMS Oscillators Operating in Nonlinear Regime

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Executive Summary

Non-linearity of a silicon resonator can lead to improved phase-noise performance in an oscillator when the phase shift of the sustaining amplifier forces the operating point to a steeper phase-frequency slope. As a result, phase modulation on the oscillator frequency is minimized because the resonator behaves as a high-order phase filter. The effect of the increased filtering translates into phase-noise shaping that reflects superior overall performance. Non-linear effects in MEMS oscillators can be induced via sufficient driving power, generating low-frequency nonwhite noise processes that need to be considered in a phase-noise description.

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