Tiny real-time-clock (RTC) circuits provide low-cost, low-power, and effective timekeeping, a simple but critical feature for today’s complex electronic systems.
Learn more about RTC circuits in a tutorial guide from Maxim Integrated. The guide answers some of the most common questions about this necessary piece of electronic technology—such as how to define a real-time clock, where they’re used, reasons to utilize them and how they work.
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• Answer common questions related to Real-Time Clocks (RTCs) such as where they should be used, how they keep time, how to define them as a device, and how accurate they can be.
• Review the functions, operations, and limitations of different types of RTC circuits.
• Showcases the most important specifications for RTC circuits.
• Explore a wide and flexible portfolio of low-power, high-performance, and low-footprint RTC ICs for use.
Electronic devices perform tasks in response to the periodic oscillation of an electrically varying digital voltage signal or clock signal. On the other hand, human time (also known as “real” time) is measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years as dictated by the rotational cycles of the earth. For electronic devices to perform their tasks when required by a user, they must store a digital representation of real time, which is then kept in sync by the digital clock signal. In an electronic device, realtime information is maintained by its RTC circuitry. This will usually be located within the device microcontroller or may be a separate IC on the system board.