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How do computers keep track of time?

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Hello Gnees Army,

Good Morning,

Have you ever wondered how time on a computer is tracked? How time on your computer always be the same as the current world time?

Today Let’s know about this! Here we go…

How do computers keep track of time?

Well, the time in computers is tracked by an IC called Real-Time-Clock (RTC) module. It measures the oscillations of quartz crystals and determines the time.

Why we use Quartz for measuring time on PC?

The reason they use quartz is that when you give quartz crystal an electric charge, it vibrates and sends a pulse back (piezoelectricity). And since the crystals can be so finely shaped and cut, people can predict exactly how many pulses it will give in a second.

So then once the computer reads that N number of pulses have happened, 1 second should be displayed. It then resets and starts reading again continually. If they wanted to, and in most cases they do, a separate processor knows that 60 seconds make a minute or 60 minutes to an hour, so it then would display that it has been a minute/hour, and reset its second timer. So both of the two processors do very similar things but just with different scales.

But it needs electricity to work and so if you turn off the computer, the next time you turn it on, the time of the machine should be altered, shouldn’t it?

The answer is big “No“, have you ever wondered why?

CMOS - Cell in Computer

Well, if you open the CPU, you will notice there is a small cell of about 3 volts. The purpose of that cell is to keep powering the RTC module, and surprisingly it can keep it powered for 2 years continuous if the computer is kept off. These RTC modules consume somewhere about 10 ยตA current and this is the reason the cell lasts long.

Thus, Date & Time on your computer is always synced!

Thanks for reading!

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