What roles do quartz crystals play in electronics?

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The roles of quartz crystal components vary by component. They have many uses in electronics.  Primarily, they have two main functions: maintaining stable frequencies and producing steady reference signals.

Maintaining stable frequencies

img2This is important for radios, mobile phones, televisions and other electronics that depend on wireless signals. These products won’t be able to send or receive information unless they function at a particular frequency. For example, the radio frequency spectrum is divided into exact bands of frequency that are assigned to mobile phones to let people communicate with the base stations in the same place at the same time. If the mobile phones do not operate at the right frequencies, then it may result in interference and crosstalk. Quartz crystal oscillators oscillate at constant frequencies. They provide a reference signal so that devices can operate at a stable state at particular frequencies.

Producing steady reference signals

Electronic systems have multiple components. The computers have hard drives, internal memory, CPU, etc. These systems have various purposes, even though they work as a single system. If the timing of their operation is not coordinated properly, the system won’t work as a whole. So, quartz crystal oscillators produce a steady clock signal is required.

These functions make wide application of quartz crystal units and oscillators in a computer, mobile phones, audio players and other devices. These devices cannot operate without oscillators. The type of oscillator you need depends on your application.