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Epson Toyocom Develops World’s Smallest Low-Current Real-Time Clock Modules


– TOKYO, Japan – Epson Toyocom Corporation, the leader in crystal devices, has developed the world’s smallest* real-time clock modules*1. The maximum dimensions of the new RTC modules, known as the RX-4571BD and RX-8571BD, are just 3.4 mm x 1.7 mm x 1.0t mm.
With a footprint and cubic volume that are 43% and 52% smaller, respectively, than those of conventional real-time clock modules in an LC package, the new real-time clock modules will help electronic equipment manufacturers further downsize their products while boosting performance.
Samples of the RX-8571BD will be available from April 2009.

In recent years all manner of electronic equipment, from compact portable devices such as digital cameras and personal health care products to office and factory automation equipment, has seen explosive growth in functions, features and performance, coupled with lower power budgets. Not coincidentally, there is strong–and growing–market demand for thin, space-saving, low-power components.
To meet this demand, Epson Toyocom has developed and is on target to commercializing the RX-4571BD and RX-8571BD real-time clock modules, which are in high demand for time and date data management applications.

The RX-4571BD supports a 3-wire serial interface, while the RX-8571BD is I2C-Bus*2 interface compliant.

The RX-4571BD and RX-8571BD, equipped with an ultra-compact QMEMS*3 crystal chip, are the world’s smallest real-time clock modules with built-in crystal unit. Epson Toyocom was able to diminish the size of these modules by using a new structure that applies Epson Toyocom’s original NPO (New Platform Oscillator) structure*4, wherein a crystal unit in a ceramic package is sealed together with an oscillation circuit in a molded plastic housing. Combining a compact crystal unit with a real-time clock IC rather than providing them separately significantly shrinks the module’s real estate requirements.

With a crystal unit built into an ultra-compact package along with clock and calendar circuitry that operates at low voltage, the modules provide and manage the clock and calendar data for electronic devices at low power.
In Standby, the RX-4571BD consumes 0.32 µA of current, while the RX-8571BD consumes just 0.22 µA (at 3 V, respectively).

The RX-4571BD and RX-8571BD will help customers add value to their systems by allowing them to use space more efficiently in feature-rich electronic equipment and by helping them extend the time their equipment can run on a battery or charge.
The modules will also pay dividends in the form of greater system reliability and quality, since the crystal unit’s characteristics will be assured prior to shipment, alleviating the need for customers to design oscillation circuits or adjust output frequencies.

* Smallest real-time clock module with integrated crystal as of December 10, 2008. Based on Epson Toyocom research.


*1 real-time clock module
A product that integrates in a single package an IC with clock and calendar functions and a 32,768-kHz crystal unit, these modules are used in computers, fax machines and other electronic equipment that require time management. RTC modules not only benefit users by eliminating the need to design oscillator circuits and adjust clock accuracy, they also offer more efficient use of the limited space available on a circuit board.

*2 I2C-bus is a trademark of NXP Semiconductors.

QMEMS is a combination of “Quartz,” a crystalline material with excellent characteristics such as high stability and high accuracy, and “MEMS” (micro electro mechanical system). QMEMS quartz devices are created using quartz material instead of the semiconductors used by MEMS. We perform precision microfabrication on the quartz material to offer high performance in a compact package.
QMEMS is a registered trademark of Epson Toyocom.

*4 NPO (New Platform Oscillator) Structure
An oscillator that combines a ceramic packaged crystal unit and an oscillator circuit in a plastic mold. Better heat stress absorption and vibration resistance give the NPO structure higher throughput in batch processing than ceramic packages.

Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.
Epson is a network of 93,279 employees in 107 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the Group had consolidated sales of 1,347 billion yen in fiscal 2007.

About Epson Toyocom
Epson Toyocom Corporation was formed through the integration of the quartz business of Seiko Epson Corporation and Toyo Communication Equipment Co., Ltd. in October 2005. Epson Toyocom follows a “3D strategy” designed to drive both horizontal growth through expansion in three device categories–timing devices, sensing devices and optical devices–and vertical growth through combinations of products in these categories. With this strategy, Epson Toyocom aims to be the leading company in the quartz device industry, selling a wide range of products to customers worldwide, from cellular phones for consumer fields, to industrial fields suchas core network systems and automotive systems.
Epson Toyocom has eight production sites and more than 7,000 employees worldwide.


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