Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) recently announced its first stand-alone I2CTM Real-Time Clock/Calendar (RTCC) family. All six MCP794XX devices are highly integrated at a low cost, including ample amounts of on-chip EEPROM and SRAM, as well as a user-lockable section of EEPROM available for a 64-bit reprogrammable unique ID that can be factory-programmed with a MAC address. The devices include digital trimming for time-of-day calibration, and a battery-switchover feature that supports backup power at very low voltage and current levels.

Many applications, such as cameras and notebook PCs, require a real-time clock with back-up power to maintain time and alarm settings when the main power is turned off. Other applications, such as commercial refrigeration, point-of-sale equipment and security systems, need a real-time clock with a power-fail monitor to capture and store the timeframes when main power fails. With their on-chip battery-switchover circuit and power-fail timestamp, the MCP794XX RTCC devices deliver this functionality, helping to address system health, safety, and security concerns in applications involving the storage of perishable goods, or monitoring access to secure rooms.

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This article first appeared in the April, 2011 issue of Embedded Technology Magazine.

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