Plug This USB RTC Module Into Your Raspberry Pi

The USB RTC module reduces the struggle of external PCBs or soldering processes, or using jumper wires.

More and more demand for an RTC module from programmers and hardware designers has increased in the embedded systems space. However, with this increase in demand, there is a big problem with the complex setup process for these modules. This can be easily done with SB Components' newly launched USB RTC module with by name tells us that it can be connected using the USB port, reducing the struggle of external PCBs or soldering processes or using jumper wires.

The USB RTC module is designed for ease of use and primarily works on embedded electronic SBCs like the popular Raspberry Pi. However, with the USB port, you can even connect this to your personal computer. The module is equipped with the widely used low-cost DS3231 integrated circuit that boosts the hardware's performance through its easy data transfer with the I2C bidirectional bus.

"USB RTC for Raspberry Pi is comprised of MCP2221, a USB-to-UART/I2C serial converter, which enables USB connectivity, in the processes that include a USB, UART(Serial), GPIO, and I2C interfaces," SB Components notes. Using these ICs and a rich set of peripherals gives more accuracy to the module, which allows developers to develop less expensive devices.

As mentioned earlier, the module packs an MCP2221 chip, which is a USB 2.0 to I2C/UART protocol converter with GPIO. This will help the module when there is any data transfer between the computer USB and UART/I2C. This open source project has come up with more features that might be very important for any developer, one such is the issue of power failure. "There is a precision temperature-compensated voltage reference and comparator circuit that monitors the status of VCC to detect power failures of the USB RTC," SB Components explains. "It would allow the device, USB RTC, by providing a reset output after which it automatically switches to the backup supply to run the system with the same."

If you are interested in learning more about the USB RTC module, check out the crowdfunding page on Kickstarter. Those looking to buy this can get it for £14 (approximately $20) for a single unit and £65 for five modules with expected shipping from next month.

Abhishek Jadhav
Abhishek Jadhav is an engineering student, freelance tech writer, RISC-V Ambassador, and leader of the Open Hardware Developer Community.
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