Concept

Real-time clock

Summary
A real-time clock (RTC) is an electronic device (most often in the form of an integrated circuit) that measures the passage of time. Although the term often refers to the devices in personal computers, servers and embedded systems, RTCs are present in almost any electronic device which needs to keep accurate time of day. Terminology The term real-time clock is used to avoid confusion with ordinary hardware clocks which are only signals that govern digital electronics, and do not count time in human units. RTC should not be confused with real-time computing, which shares its three-letter acronym but does not directly relate to time of day. Purpose Although keeping time can be done without an RTC, using one has benefits:
  • Low power consumption (important when running from alternate power)
  • Frees the main system for time-critical tasks
  • Sometimes more accurate than other methods
A GPS receiver can shorten its startup time by comparing the current time, accordi
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