I need to design a crystal resonator that can be used as a clock source for a uC. The first design is for an ENC28J60 IC, it's an ethernet - spi module and needs a 25MHz frequency.

I tried to follow a lot of tutorials and sites but I still can't wrap my head around it, I'm not sure if the design would work.

I picked a crystal that looked fine to me, the QCS25.0000F18B35. It's 25MHz, Cl is 18pF, Frequency tolerance is +- 30ppm and the stability is +-50ppm.

I used this application note from STM as a reference for calculations. Since the second project is to design a STM32F207 uC that needs another crystal too.

In the document it said $$ Cl\:=\:\frac{C1\cdot C2}{C1+C2}+Cs $$ to calculate C1 and C2, since they can be the same value the formula would be $$ Cl=2\cdot \left(C-Cs\right) $$ If you use 18pF for Cl and 3pF for Cs it gives you a C1 and C2 value of 30pF.

So far, is this a correct way of doing this?

Next is the drive level, the maximum power the crystal can dissipate is 1mW. If I use $$ I_{Qmax}=\sqrt{\frac{DL_{max}}{ESR}}=\sqrt{\frac{1mW}{40}}=5mA $$ When I then calculate the current that will flow in the oscillator using $$ I_{Q\:RMS}=2\cdot \pi \cdot f\cdot V_{RMS}\cdot C_{tot}=2\pi \cdot 25\cdot 10^6\cdot \frac{3.3}{2\sqrt{2}}\cdot \left(C+\frac{C_s}{2}\right)=5.79mA $$ Obviously this is more than the maximum current, so with this setup there should be an extra Rs inserted. But how to calculate that one... I have no idea. I've read that you could calculate them using the 'insides' of the XTAL, or to take a value that could work using a potentiometer and work from there to get a workable value. But I can't test the crystal in real life. It has to be possible to calculate it right?

When I tried other values for Cl, for example 12pF, using 3pF for the Cs gives you C1 = C2 = 18pF. This should give a current of 3.58mA, and that should work. Is this a workable value too? and is it possible to use my earlier values using Rs?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why does a pierce oscillator....oscillate? Why are high current risky? How to ensure the circuit always can reach the N*360 degree phase-shift point, exactly 360 degrees? \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2017 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @analogsystemsrf From what I understand you have to power the quartz first to get it to 'oscillate mode', those signals go to the inverted amplifier in the uC and that creates the squared wave. High currents are risky because you could damage the quartz, so you should limit that under the maximum tolerances. My guess is the combination of the C1 and C2 values that control a 50/50 split and/or phase-shift? \$\endgroup\$
    – pascal0312
    May 17, 2017 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pascal0312 The choice comes from your crystal manufacturer. I've seen situations where Texas Instruments, for example, would list out a dozen different specific crystal part numbers and in the same table show different optimal load capacitances. There are drive limitations that Microchip will apply. But that's just a cross-check to make sure you are buying a crystal that your device can drive. The crystal manufacturer is the place to go. Do you have a datasheet for it? \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    May 17, 2017 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your calculations address two-of-three major design issues (frequency of oscillation, and max power). You are missing gain calculations required to oscillate. Too much added Rs can decrease gain to the point where oscillations won't start. Many designers err on the side of having excess gain, because an oscillator that doesn't oscillate is like a human with no heartbeat. \$\endgroup\$
    – glen_geek
    May 18, 2017 at 12:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jonk Certainly. I started off with this crystal. \$\endgroup\$
    – pascal0312
    May 19, 2017 at 8:51

1 Answer 1


The ENC28J60 datasheet indicates that you simply connect a crystal between the two OSC pins, along with a small capacitor from each OSC pin to ground. No need to design a separate oscillator circuit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm.. did I accidentally mention a separate oscillator circuit? But you did mention my problem, I have to connect A crystal between the OSC pins and A small capacitor. What values those should be can be calculated.. and that's my problem. I tried to calculate them using a suitable crystal I chose first, but then the maximum current would be too big according to my calculations. That means the crystal isn't good enough or there should be an extra resistor.. \$\endgroup\$
    – pascal0312
    May 17, 2017 at 15:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.