Egypt's Si-Ware Systems forms MEMS timing spin-off

April 01, 2021 // By Peter Clarke
Egypt's Si-Ware Systems forms MEMS timing spin-off
Ayman Ahmed, who previously founded Si-Ware Systems Ltd., had formed Pearl Semiconductor BV (Amsterdam, Netherlands) to create MEMS timing products.

Pearl is a fabless chip company specializing in reference clocks and timing ICs for industrial, networking, telecom and automotive applications. The company's headquarters is Amsterdam with its R&D base in Cairo, Egypt and another office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The firm has received initial investment from Si-Ware Systems and Sawari Ventures.

As a Si-Ware Systems spin off Pearl has inherited more than 25 patents and IP in programmable temperature-compensated all silicon CMOS/MEMS reference clock generators and high performance sigma-delta fractional-N PLLs. Pearl Semiconductor also brings DSP algorithms to bear.


"Pearl is a timing company developing resonator-agnostic solutions. We work with quartz crystals, MEMS resonators or whatever achieves superior performance. Our real innovation is in the designs we build," said Ayman Ahmed, CEO of Pearl Semiconductor, in a statement.

Pearl is likely to come into competition with Si-Time Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.), now a publicly-owned vendor of MEMS timing products. SiTime has worked with Bosch since 2009 and has used Bosch as a foundry to manufacture its MEMS-based timing products.

Pearl's foundry partners are located in Taiwan and Malaysia. The Taiwanese partner is likely to be either Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp. or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. both of Hsinchu, Taiwan. The Malaysian partner is SilTerra.

"Our low-noise single-die MEMS SAW-based products achieve a typical performance of 350 femtoseconds for integrated phase jitter with an operating temperature range up to +125 oC, making them ideal candidates for automotive," said Mostafa Elkhouly, vice president of marketing and business development at Pearl Semiconductor, in the same statement.

The single-die allows tight thermal coupling between the resonator and temperature sensor resulting in excellent thermal tracking and in turn zero thermal latency. The technique was developed in collaboration with SilTerra and has created a piezoelectric monolithic MEMS CMOS Platform. Pearl said it aims to introduce several families of programmable reference clocks to the market in the near future.

On the ultra-low noise PLL timing front Peral is developing timing solutions for 100G to 800G video broadcasting and 5G infrastructure applications.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

SiTime, Bosch aim MEMS at 5G, automotive and IoT

Spectrometer-on-a-chip slim enough for smartphones

Silterra pitches PMUT-on-CMOS for fingerprint sensor, medical imaging

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