- Published in issue 7/1999 on page 23
Temperature-compensated crystal oscillator
The clock in computers and many other electronic systems is normally provided by a simple crystal oscillator. Unfortunately, the electromechanical properties of such a clock are normally such that it may vary as much as 100 minutes per year from real time. This is, of course, a highly unsatisfactory, and, to many people, inexplicable situation. After all, if a cheap watch can keep (reasonable) time, why can an expensive computer not?