Why Are 32.768 kHz Crystals and Oscillators Used in Real Time Clocks?

How This Frequency Supports Electronic Circuits

Since the quartz watch boom of the 1970s, it has been a widely accepted fact that quartz crystals are the best base for time keeping applications. Real time clock (RTC) applications have primarily been leaning on quartz crystals and oscillators with a frequency of 32.768 kHz. These applications include IoT utilization, industrial equipment and tools and consumer electronics like digital cameras, mobile GPS devices, televisions and home health devices as well. This frequency has truly become a standard in the electronics manufacturing industry.

In 2022, frequency control product lines are still dominated by products that utilize 32.768 kHz crystals. From complex electronic designs to consumer electronics such as laptops, mobile phones and microwaves, these crystals make life easier by accurately keeping time. This makes 32.768 kHz crystals perfect to be the universally accepted standard of timekeeping.


What Makes 32.768 kHz Crystals and Oscillators So Universal

Designing a circuit requires more accuracy and precision than just selecting the correct components, but utilizing 32.768 kHz crystals can provide any circuit design with a solid foundation to operate optimally. There are many reasons this is the preferred frequency of engineers including:

  • Divides to 1 kHz - 32.768 kHz crystals are easier to calculate clock signals with since they divide down to 1kHz, which is equivalent to one second in frequency. This is the basis for all day, date and time keeping functions for any electronic design.
  • Low Power Consumption - 32.768 kHz crystals operate at low frequencies and consume less power than standard quartz crystals.
  • Cost - While engineers are able to find many cost efficient solutions from cutting edge manufacturers, the low cost of 32.768 kHz crystals is still beneficial when they are included in designs. The low cost surely played a role in the growth in popularity of these crystals.
  • Availability - Timeliness is the name of the game sometimes when building electronic circuits. Many industries have strict deadlines and milestones to juggle. Having components that are not easy to source or have only one trusted source can put a bottleneck in the manufacturing process, delay timelines and causing frustration. 32.768 kHz crystals are widely available with several sourcing options, making it easier to include them in designs than other options. These crystals provide a practical and seamless option when needed.


Considering all factors, it is easy to understand why engineers and manufacturers have placed their trust in 32.768 kHz crystals to support their systems. In less volatile designs that are properly designed and manufactured, other timing solutions will work, but the superior component will always be the 32.768 kHz crystals. There’s no need to worry about these crystals phasing out or becoming obsolete, either. The wide range of available package options and electrical specs set 32.768 kHz crystals up to be a large part of new designs in 2023 and beyond.


ECS Inc. Has a Wide Selection of 32.768 kHz Crystals and Other Timing Solutions

The expertise that ECS Inc. has gained over the last 40 years of manufacturing timing solutions has allowed us to develop cutting edge technology components that are compatible and ready to support new and old designs alike. We are able to lean on this expertise when unique requirements are brought to us as well, allowing us to adapt, innovate, and grow as the requirements of our products do the same.

Producing high quality components is what ECS Inc. is known for. Our components will always provide impeccable timing, reliability and performance to any system. With passive and active components used in many different applications like automotive, non-life sustaining medical, watches and other tech, accuracy and precision are essential across all of the components we manufacture, including:

Our website makes it easy to find the components you need in your design. The product category pages will lead you to the components your circuit needs by allowing you to sort all components by their different specs. Search by package size, temperature range, mounting type and many more attributes to narrow options down to exactly what you need.

Once you have determined what components you need, find a distributor in your area to get them as quickly as possible, or fill out a contact form to have someone reach out to you. ECS Inc. sales representative are ready to handle any additional order requests or questions that may come up.

About ECS

Founded in 1980, ECS Inc. International has grown to become one of the most recognized and experienced manufacturers of frequency control management products in the world.
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15351 West 109th Street, Lenexa, KS 66219

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