We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Real-Time Clocks?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A real-time clock is a clock located within a computer. It helps monitor the current time and can run on alternate power. Technically, accurate time can be kept using other methods, but there are many benefits of using a real-time clock. The fact that a real-time clock does not require much power consumption can be considered to be one of them. These clocks can be used in other electronic devices and are made by several companies that also manufacture integrated circuits.

Real-time clocks commonly are found as integrated circuits. The clocks usually are associated with personal computers, embedded systems and servers, but they can be included in a variety of electronic devices. The only requirement is the device's need for an accurate measure of time.

To be sure, finding and keeping accurate time can be achieved without using real-time clocks. There are certain advantages to employing and referencing real-time clocks, however. These clocks can be much more accurate than other time-keeping alternatives, they allow the main system to perform important tasks, and they do not consume much power. The latter can be important to a user of an electronic device that is forced to use an alternate power source.

Those who use alternate power can rest assured that their real-time clocks will perform their functions without having to rely on a primary power source. Common alternate power sources include lithium batteries and supercapacitors. Supercapacitors have the advantage of being soldered and charged multiple times. Alternate power sources also might be able to power battery-backed random access memory (RAM).

Real-time clocks can use a crystal oscillator or power line frequency to keep accurate time. The frequency of choice usually is 32.768 kilohertz (kHz), much like quartz clocks and watches. This frequency lends itself to simple binary counter circuits and can complement the function of time-keeping.

Electronic devices can even increase their functionality by using real-time clocks. Certain electronic devices can rely on real-time clocks when comparing the times of previous functions. If the functions have taken place within a designated period of time, device functions can be reduced drastically.

Several companies make real-time clocks, and many of these clocks can be found in personal computers. Their positions have changed as technology has improved. Historically, the clocks were located on motherboards. More recently, they're often found on the southbridge chip.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.