Epson Introduces New Real Time Clocks with Embedded DTCXO for Automotive and Consumer Electronics Applications

RA8900 and CE packageThe RA8900 series and RX8900 series of real-time clock modulesShown:
SA package (left) and CE package (right)

- TOKYO, Japan, February 26, 2014 -

Seiko Epson Corporation (TSE: 6724, "Epson"), the world leader in quartz crystal technology, today introduced its new RA8900 series and RX8900 series of real-time clock (RTC*1) modules with built-in digital temperature-compensated crystal oscillators (DTCXO*2).

There are two products in each series. All of the new products, samples of which are now shipping, boast high accuracy, low-current consumption, and a small form factor. The modules in the RA8900 series are designed for automotive applications and are AEC-Q200*3 compliant. The modules in the RX8900 series are for use in consumer electronics. The new RTC modules come in two different package sizes to meet the requirements of customers in a wide range of markets who need highly accurate timekeeping/clock functions. The RA8900CE and RX8900CE are housed in Epson's smallest-ever RTC package, a package whose maximum dimensions are 3.2 x 2.5 x 1.0t mm. The RA8900SA and RX8900SA, meanwhile, measure a maximum of 10.1 x 7.4 x 3.3t mm, making them size-compatible with earlier Epson RTC modules having a model number ending in SA.

Today's smart meters, banking systems, security systems, and countless other consumer systems and applications run on the basis of time information, making it essential to keep accurate track of time. Furthermore, automotive customers are demanding clocks that maintain accurate time for their car audio systems, dashboard clocks, and other applications that are subject to harsh environments with temperature extremes. Accelerating integration and downsizing of electronic equipment and a growing desire on the part of companies to reduce their environmental footprints are also driving market demand for smaller, more accurate RTCs that consume less current. Maintaining and improving the accuracy of real-time clocks which are built by combining a crystal unit, oscillation circuit, and timekeeping IC, is more difficult as component sizes shrink.

Epson has responded to this challenge by leveraging its state-of-the-art QMEMS*4 fabrication technology to manufacture high-precision tuning-fork crystal units and its semiconductor technology to fabricate circuits that drive the crystal units at very low power. The combination of these technologies enabled Epson to reduce the size of its latest RTCs while maintaining high accuracy and low current consumption. (At 0.70 A, current consumption matches Epson's existing product, the RX-8803SA, and is the lowest in the industry for a DTCXO RTC.)

Epson will adjust and guarantee the frequency of these four new products at the factory before shipping them to customers. Factory adjustment alleviates users of the burden of tuning the frequency themselves, thus greatly improving design efficiency and quality.

"Our new RTCs offer accurate time information to electronic equipment, while their small size helps enable electronics manufacturers to reduce the size and current consumption of their systems," said Masayuki Kitamura, chief operating officer of Epson's Microdevices Operations Division. "Going forward, Epson will continue to leverage its unique technologies to provide customers with reliable, easy-to-use, industry-leading crystal device products."

See the attachment for the main specifications. PDF (50KB)

Related links
RA8900 series: New window
RX8900 series: New window


*1 Real-time clock module
Epson's real-time clock modules are single-package products that have a real-time clock IC with clock, calendar, and other functions and an integrated 32.768-kHz crystal unit. These modules not only benefit users by eliminating the need to design oscillator circuits and adjust clock accuracy, their small size and level of integration also allow customers to use their board space more efficiently and RTC modules achieve far lower power consumption than similar circuits implemented in microcontrollers, allowing extended battery life.

A digital temperature compensated crystal oscillator is an oscillator (crystal unit and oscillation circuit) with a function that applies corrections to frequencies, which change in response to the ambient temperature of the crystal unit. To maintain a stable frequency, a TCXO uses signals from a temperature sensor to apply a correction equal to the amount of temperature change. DTCXOs compensate the frequency digitally.

*3 AEC-Q200
The Automotive Electronics Council (AEC) is an industry group that creates standards for the reliability and qualification of automotive electronics. It was formed by the "Big Three" U.S. automobile manufacturers in partnership with major electronic component manufacturers. AEC-Q200 is a de facto global standard that has been widely adopted as a standard for automotive electronic components.

QMEMS is a combination of "Quartz," a crystalline material with excellent characteristics such as excellent frequency stability and high precision, and "MEMS" (micro electro mechanical system). QMEMS devices, produced via a microfabrication process on a quartz material instead of on a semiconductor material, offer high performance in a compact package. QMEMS is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.

About Epson
Epson is a global innovation leader whose product lineup ranges from inkjet printers and printing systems, 3LCD projectors and industrial robots to sensors and other microdevices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning enterprise and the home to commerce and industry.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates.