STMicroelectronicsCrystalRealTimeAs miniaturization continues to be a key goal for designers of high-tech gadgets, STMicroelectronics has announced the world’s smallest combined crystal and real-time clock (RTC) IC for time, calendar and alarm functions. ST has combined the world’s smallest real-time clock die and a matched oscillator crystal in the same package size as the smallest crystal-only devices on the market today, to deliver the world’s smallest integrated RTC/crystal, measuring only 3.2 x 1.5mm and offering ultra-low power consumption.

The M41T62 is ideally suited to the needs of battery-powered designs. By operating at low voltages from 1.3V to 4.4V, it can be driven directly from a Li-ion battery and draws only 350nA. Many integrated microcontrollers have an on-chip RTC, but these often provide limited features and an external crystal is always required. Unlike designing with microcontrollers, or discrete solutions, this integrated solution takes care of the required and sometimes troublesome matching of the crystal and the RTC.

“This state-of-the-art real-time clock, embedded in this small-volume crystal package, provides the perfect solution for any portable design,” said Francesco Italia, Director of the Sensors and Microactuators Business Unit within ST’s MEMS, Sensors and High-Performance Analog Division. “It saves space, optimizes power consumption, and can run directly from a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. This turn-key solution alleviates the headache for designers of matching the right crystal with the right real-time-clock silicon.”

The M41T62 also simplifies product design. It produces a stable 32kHz signal on start-up, which ensures reliable starting from many of today’s processors and subsystems such as Bluetooth modules. Additional features enhancing design and system performance include oscillator failure detection (OFD), which helps the system detect power faults. Actions such as power-down time stamping, low-battery detection can be done without the additional external components needed by a microcontroller RTC. The device is also UL certified and has a built-in reverse diode.

The M41T62 improves the performance of systems whose functions rely on data logging, time stamping, interval monitoring or synchronization. These can be found in SLR digital cameras, GPS receivers, portable multimedia players, card readers, portable medical monitors such as glucose meters.

Major features of the M41T62
• 3.2 x 1.5mm lead-free ceramic package
• RTC and crystal within industry’s smallest crystal-only outline
• Ultra-low power consumption of 350nA @ 3 V
• Low operating voltage: 1.3V – 4.4V
• Provides stable 32kHz on power-up
• Oscillator failure detection ensuring safe operation
• Timekeeping down to 1.0V
• Programmable alarm and watchdog

The M41T62 is entering into volume production now in the LCC8 leadless package, priced at approximately $1.50 in quantities of 1000 units. Alternative pricing options are available for larger order quantities.

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