Silicon timing devices represent a rapidly growing portion of the total market for frequency-control/timing devices, according to forecasts by technology research firm ABI Research (Oyster Bay, NY). Such devices represent a cost-effective and reliable alternative to quartz crystal oscillators and resonators and are having a major impact on the market for quartz crystals and oscillators. Quartz crystal oscillators have suffered a steep decline in sales due to the weakening of telecommunications markets in recent years. And, although silicon-based technology is replacing quartz-based timing products in many applications, the research firm projects future growth for quartz oscillators in some niche markets, including in wireless base stations, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), space-based systems, and military applications. The total value of the crystal-based oscillator and silicon timing device market in 2002 was $3.53 billion, according to ABI, and will expand slightly to $3.64 billion in 2003, although much of this growth is for newer silicon timing devices, with traditional crystal-based oscillators having reached a market peak in 2000. According to ABI analyst John Marino, "Moderate growth will return to the market by 2005." He adds, "A portion of this new growth will be derived from new product solutions, such as silicon timing." The report, entitled "Quartz Crystal Oscillators and Silicon Timing Devices: Global Market Analysis of Silicon, SAW, and Crystal Technologies," identifies key trends in the market for oscillators and timing devices and projects how consolidation and restructuring will ease the competitive landscape.

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