A real-time clock (RTC) or a semiconductor clock is an Integrated Circuit(IC) that not only keeps track of current time but also ensures smooth functioning of electronic devices by maintaining proper time among device components. The semiconductor clocks are used in embedded systems, servers and personal computers among others which needs to keep track of accurate time.
A Semiconductor Clock has various advantages, such as low power consumption, the ability to free the main system for time critical tasks, and capability to provide more accurate time than the other methods. The most crucial among them is the lower power consumption which is acting as the primary force driving the growth of the global semiconductor clock market. An integrated clock enables all electronic devices to maintain current time even when the device is switched off. However the amount of power consumed in integrated clocks is high, and it eventually leads to the loss of power of the device completely, within a short span of time. A RTC, on the other hand, is able to perform the same function for the device thereby ensuring minimal power consumption.
In addition, advancements in the MEMS technologies is also driving the global semiconductor clock market. Increasing focus on funding and rising number of investors on MEMS oscillators has enabled the RTS manufacturers to introduce variety of innovative features that includes packaging and fabrication in MEMS oscillators. These oscillator manufacturers are continually upgrading features such as power consumption, noise jitter, and frequency stability. Technological developments in the MEMS oscillators are making the semiconductor clock devices faster, cost effective, and energy efficient.
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Semiconductor clocks faced with the issue of poor accuracy as it can only be updated per seconds and not per fraction of seconds. The accuracy of a semiconductor clock is determined by a time base oscillator which typically has a 32.768 kHz crystal. These crystals are very cheap but fall behind in terms of timekeeping, thereby reducing the accuracy of the semiconductor clocks. All these factors are acting as a restraining factor in the growth of global semiconductor clocks market.
The key-players in the global semiconductor clocks markets include TXC Corporation (Taiwan), Si Time (U.S), Murata (Japan), Kyocera (Japan), Daishinku Corporation (Japan), IQD (U.K), Integrated Device Technology (U.S), Abracon Corporation (U.S), Texas Instruments (U.S), STMicroelectronics (Switzerland), Ricoh (Japan), NXP Semiconductors (Netherlands) , Maxim Integrated (U.S), and Epson (Japan).