Difference Between Crystal and Resonator (With Table)

In ancient times, there were many odd methods to determine the time of the day. Some of the methods include – sundial, water clock, hourglass, astronomical clock, cancel clock, and many others. After all this, in the year 1511, the first clock was invented by Peter Henlein. He was a locksmith and belonged to Nuremberg and is known as the creator of modern-day clocks.

Crystal vs Resonator

The difference between Crystal and Resonator is that the limit of the tolerance for the quartz crystal lies between 30 ppm to 50 ppm, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the limit of tolerance for the ceramic resonator is around 1% which is nominal frequency. Also, the level of accuracy provided by the crystal is high while for the resonator is less.

Crystal or Quartz crystal is the material that is used as a clock source in its machinery. It has a special property of oscillating at a desired frequency, because of which the power required for activation is low. As it has high-temperature stability and sensitivity, it is best suited for manufacturing Bluetooth or wireless applications.

The resonator is also one of the materials that are popularly used in clock sources and are made up of ceramic. The working of a ceramic resonator is somewhat considered to be similar. Although the tolerance or stability of resonator against temperature and sensitivity is not good as crystal thus, it is mainly used in microprocessors where these properties are not required or important.

Comparison Table Between Crystal and Resonator

Parameters of ComparisonCrystalResonator
Limit of toleranceAbout 30 to 50 ppmAbout 1%
AccuracyMoreLess
Temperature StabilityAround 0.005%Around 0.1%
Sensitivity HighLow
SizeLargeSmall
ManufactureDifficultEasy
PriceHighLow
ESD ToleranceHighLow
Shock & Vibration ToleranceLessHigh
UsefulnessWall clocks, RTC, Timekeeping machineNot applicable

What is Crystal?

Crystal is a material that is used for making clock source machinery and is made up of quartz material. It possesses a special property of oscillating with the desired frequency that helps in accessing low power and early activation. The crystal vibrates mechanically when any electrical current is passed through it.

The tolerance capacity of the quartz crystal lies between the range of 30 ppm to 50 ppm (parts per million). Also, the accuracy level of a quartz crystal is very good. The manufacturing of the quartz crystal is difficult because of which the cost of it is more. The temperature stability possessed by the quartz crystal is about 0.005%.

The size of the crystal is large, and they are very sensitive. Also, possessing a high tolerance for ESD and low against shock and vibration. It is majorly used in wall clocks, RTC, and the machines used for timekeeping.

What is Resonator?

The resonator is another material used in clock source machinery and is made up of material ceramic. The working of the resonator is somewhat considered to be similar to the quartz crystal. It has the property that it makes use of the frequency inside the electrical component.

The tolerance capacity possessed by the ceramic resonator is nominally only about 1%. The manufacturing of the ceramic resonator is quite easy that reflects on the cost or price for the same and is low in the market. The accuracy rate provided by the resonator is also low.

The capacity of tolerance of ceramic resonators against shock and vibration is high, while the tolerance of ESD is low. The stability of the ceramic resonator with a high temperature is about 0.1% and has a low sensitivity. The size of the ceramic resonator is small compared to that of the quartz resonator.  

Main Differences Between Crystal and Resonator

  1. The limit of tolerance of the quartz crystal is around 30 to 50 ppm, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the limit of tolerance of the resonator is around 1%.
  2. The accuracy offered by the quartz crystal is more and accurate while comparatively, on the other hand, the accuracy offered by the resonator is less accurate.
  3. The quartz crystal has a temperature stability of around 0.005%, while comparatively, on the other hand, the ceramic resonator has a temperature stability of around and about 0.1%.
  4. The crystals made of quartz metal have high sensitivity, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the resonator made up of ceramic has low sensitivity. 
  5. The size of the quartz crystal is bigger or, say, larger, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the size of the ceramic crystal is much smaller than of crystal.
  6. The manufacturing of quartz crystal is very difficult while comparatively, on the other hand, the manufacturing of the ceramic resonator is a bit easy.
  7. As the manufacturing is difficult, so does it reflects on its cost; therefore, it is high in price whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the price of the ceramic resonance is low because of its easy manufacturing.
  8. The support provided by Quartz crystal for ESD tolerance is high, while comparatively, on the other hand, the support provided by the ceramic resonator for ESD tolerance is low.
  9. Crystal doesn’t have huge tolerability against shock and vibration, while comparatively, on the other hand, the tolerability of resonator against shock and vibration is huge.
  10. Quartz crystal is mostly used in the different wall clocks, RTC clocks, and some machines used for timekeeping, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the usefulness of the resonator is not applicable for such things.    

Conclusion

The clock has been an integral part of everyone’s life. It helps in determining the correct timing of the day or night. With time, there have been improvements in machinery and types of clocks nowadays. Smartwatches, wristwatches, mobile clocks are quite popular among people as they are convenient to handle and easy to travel with. While in ancient times, people used to determine the time by calculating the level of water, checking the shadow of the pillar made because of sun, melting of candle, by looking at the speed of the sand falling, and many other ways also. Now the machinery of the clock includes the above two materials in it that are crystal and resonator for its smooth functioning.

References

  1. https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.56.680
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6782512
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925400517303933
  4. https://journals.aps.org/rmp/abstract/10.1103/RevModPhys.57.105
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