32 KHz and Real Time Clocks - A Focused, Segment Report & Analysis
Published By : Consulting Services & Associates Published Date : 2016-05-23 Category : Electronics Sub Category : Semiconductor No. of Pages : 1

Segment Overview and Preface

Time of Day, or T.O.D. is a standard function ubiquitous in almost all of today's Electronic Systems. WEARABLES, MEDICAL MONITORING AND INSTRUMENTATION, HEALTH DRIVING GREEN APPLICATIONS (EXERCISE AND MORE), WHITE GOODS, HAND HELD AND CONSOLE GAMING, GAMBLING SYSTEMS (SLOT MACHINES) , HD TELEVISIONS AND SET TOP BOXES, DVR/DVD'S, PHONES, LAPTOPS, DESKTOPS, PADS AND SLATES, GPS SYSTEMS, PRINTERS, AND SO MUCH MORE. The proliferation of the feature has been faster than lighting, and in 2015, as Wearables and many of the Applications noted above delivered YoY increases of shipments in double digit percentage ranges creating more pressure, this time based on COGS.

Integrate the TOD Function into the ASIC/ASSP?

Considering the use case, and the REQUIREMENT for the feature, it has no direct impact on $$Pricing for a given Synchronous Electronic System, AND it has little actual impact on the BOM/COGS Totals since pricing for the 32KHz Frequency reference is a very small percentage of the overall costs. We still talk in pennies (<$0.165 in volume) for the traditional 32KHz Quartz pricing, a little more for a TCXO precision type reference ($ASP's of $0.80 in 2012, down to $0.40 in 2014), and the other pieces of the puzzle like; the Real Time Clock (RTC) IC (Also taking hits in $ASP, but not as aggressive since there are fewer suppliers) , and other ancillary blocks in the design to support TOD. These ancillary functions include a lot of what have been typically been a part of Power Management IC's; Dubbed as Supervisory type elements and the list of additional feature and functional blocks available is not long. The list of use cases/Applications includes, but is not limited to:

  • POR Power On Reset
  • WDG Watchdog Timer
  • RAM On Chip Scratchpad Memory
  • DC Power Trickle Charger
  • POWER Backup / Standby Source (Battery or SuperCap)
  • Alarm On Board Alarms
  • Display Optional on chip Display Drivers
  • Standby Low Power Consumption Sleep/Standby Mode


THIS REPORT PRESENTS THE SEMI TIMING TOD MARKETSCAPE WITH ALL THE NUMBERS:Markets, Use Cases and Applications, High Volume drivers and channels. We look at Technologies currently play and still in development. We look at obstacles and enablers, and we list and discuss the suppliers in this specific supply chain, & what that future may look like in terms of forecast. TOD (Time of Day) - In terms of Semiconductor Solution Selling, for most implementations, we see several focused, yet clear Sub-segments emerge out of this Use Case and Application; High level with Portable and Tethered, and Further breakdowns supporting designs with varying degrees of functional block integration Geared towards that Single Monolithic Die) that in turn, dictate additional partitioning for the Timing Devices present the mix.

Key functional blocks include: The basic Oscillator (Ring, Tank, Colpitts, Pierce, etc....) with calibration and supporting a closed loop design forming the active compensation (if desired - the design can run open loop with lower stability over temp and voltage) . The counters for Time and Calendar, and drivers as needed based upon application (I.e. Display Drivers if needed) and configuration of the final device or the RTC IC. Managing Power Consumption via some form of Duty Cycling of the power for both Brown out and Black out partitioning and control. Specific Timing is designated for this type of activity using a closed loop calibration scheme. Application notes abound from many suppliers to help the designer out... There are no accumulated Jitter or Phase noise specs for these parts, but here the period spec means a lot along with minimum pulse width for what are mostly Pulse injection / Pulse deletion mode type designs for clocking those short and long term counters. Both Configurable (via PAD/PIN bond outs/downs) , and Programmable (via a Two or a Three wire serial interface) options exist in support of a well-defined and single Use Case Applications base.

Limited License Agreement

  • Disclaimer

Segment Overview and Preface

  • Integrate the TOD Function into the ASIC/ASSP?
  • Portable
  • Tethered
  • Device 1, The Resonator/Crystal
  • 32KHz Programmable Crystal Oscillators:
  • Device 2, The Real Time Clock IC

Initial KHz TAM & Forecast

  • 32KHz TAM & Forecast by Package
  • Handsets / SmartPhones: No longer a Semi Timing Strongpoint

SiTime: Truly the last MEMS Timing Company Standing...

  • Is the 32KHz standard Quartz going away?
  • ASP Erosion factors
  • 2015 KHz Revenues were up 4.5% YoY

Quartz Crystals

  • Crystals

KHz Quartz Crystal TAM & Forecast thru 2018

  • Crystal and Oscillator Market Summary
  • kHz Growth moving forward
  • kHz Crystals
  • The KHz ASO
  • KHz Quartz is here to stay
  • kHz Crystal ASP Forecast
  • kHz Crystal Package Forecast

Real Time Clocking

  • The Time of Day Function - Real Time tracking and display
  • 2015 Xtal Market Shares
  • FREF for Clocks, Watches, & The SmartWatch

Real Time Clocks

  • Background
  • Characteristics of Real-Time Clock Modules
  • Frequency accuracy of crystal units used in clock applications
  • RTC WW TAM and Forecast Estimates


  • RTC Supplier Listing with Levels of Participation
  • Supplier Spotlight; Ambiq
  • Supplier Spotlight; Cymbet - another RTC player to watch...
  • A quick word about low current consumption

Pricing trends



  • Smart Watches
  • Automotive Class RTC Solutions
  • Wearables - a growing segment for 32 KHz References

Differentiation and Segmentation

RTC sub categories

  • Feature Set Options
  • Additional Optional Mixed Signal Blocks

Some Clear RTC High Runners Have Emerged

  • Share of Markets

Software / Firmware Impacts and issues

  • Register Sets

Keeping Time of Day - Pulse Injection

Power Consumption

Summary and Forecast