Oscillator IP Core

An oscillator IP core comprises an electronic circuit that is responsible for generating an oscillating signal after set periods of time. Ultimately, this electronic circuit converts direct current (DC) from the power supply into alternating current (AC) by producing a sine wave or a square wave. The periodic waveform is generated at a set frequency.


An oscillator only needs a power source and no other input as it continues to produce alternating waveforms from a unidirectional current. A typical signal generated by an electronic oscillator usually has a constant amplitude. In order to maintain the amplitude of the oscillating current, it is important to ensure that the amount of energy lost is being compensated in the amount of energy provided to the circuit. Not providing enough energy would result in decaying oscillations energy as energy is continuously lost, while providing too much energy would cause the amplitude of the oscillations to increase overtime. By maintaining the balance of energy, we can build self sustaining oscillations.


Applications of Oscillators


There are a lot of applications for electronic oscillators in the modern world of technology. For example, oscillators called resonators are used for the sake of station tuning In radio receivers. Oscillators are also used in personal computers, weaponry and heavy equipment, watches, radio transmitters, as well as metal detectors. Each of these applications use different types of oscillators based on their individual properties.


Types of Oscillators


There are many different types of oscillator IP cores and the most common way to classify them is based on the type of signal they produce. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used oscillators:


Sine wave oscillators


These types of electronic circuits are capable of producing sine waveforms as the output with the oscillations having a set frequency and constant amplitude.


LC Oscillators


This is a resonating type of circuit which combines the use of inductors as well as capacitors to produce sine waves with a relatively stable frequency relative to the changes in the voltage of the DC power supply or fluctuations in the ambient temperature. LC oscillators are frequently used to generate and receive radio frequency signals with variable frequency.


RC Oscillators


RC Oscillators combine the use of resistors and capacitors to generate sine waves at given frequencies instead of using L and C. This is done in order to reduce the size of the resonating circuit. It is, however, more difficult to produce a pure sine waveform using resistors and capacitors. RC Oscillators find their applications in audio devices with fixed or variable frequencies.


Relaxation Oscillators


These types of oscillators produce square waves instead of sine waves. The output is produced in pulses with the help of two amplifiers and frequency control network that induces a timing delay. At any given time, one amplifier is switched on while the other is switched off. Relaxation oscillators are also called astable multivibrators because they contain two oscillating elements or vibrators. They can be used to produce high frequency digital signals as well as low frequency signals for flashing lights.


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