Accepts broken-down datetime elements and returns seconds since UNIX epoch
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Provides a simple C function that takes datetime elements (e.g. seconds, minutes, hours, date, month and year) and returns a single integer representing the number of seconds elapsed since the UNIX epoch (1/1/1970).

unix_time_in_seconds( uint8_t sec, uint8_t min, uint8_t hrs, uint8_t day, uint8_t mon, uint16_t year );

This is a fairly common problem I've encountered, as many off-the-shelf RTC integrated circuits seem to only provide datetime output as the individual datetime elements, each accessed by a separate register. However, it is easier to do most datetime/timer/looper logic operations using a well ordered set such as the integers, for which purpose a UNIX timestamp is ideal.


You can build and run the example application simply:

make && ./example

The example app simply takes the datetime 6:53:16Z Nov 22th, 2015 and prints out the UNIX timestamp in seconds (should be 1448175196).

  uint32_t ts = unix_time_in_seconds( 16, 53, 06, 22, 11, 2015 );
  printf( "%d\n", ts );

Notes and Limitations

It is assumed that the datetime given by the elements is Zulu time (GMT). Which is to say, this function does not consider the following:

  • Timezones
  • Leap seconds
  • Daylight savings time

Therefore, the computed timestamp in seconds is not true "UTC" time but simply UNIX time, assuming only 86400 sec/day without compensation for changes to the planet Earth's rotation.