8051 Micro Controller - B.Suresh




starts counting up. When TLx reaches 255 and is subsequently incremented, instead of resetting to 0 (as in the case of modes 0 and 1), it will be reset to the value stored in THx.
For example, lets say TH0 holds the value FDh and TL0 holds the value FEh. If we were to watch the values of TH0 and TL0 for a few machine cycles this is what wed see:
    Machine CycleTH0 ValueTL0 Value
    1FDhFEh
    2FDhFFh
    3FDhFDh
    4FDhFEh
    5FDhFFh
    6FDhFDh
    7FDhFEh
As you can see, the value of TH0 never changed. In fact, when you use mode 2 you almost always set THx to a known value and TLx is the SFR that is constantly incremented.
Whats the benefit of auto-reload mode? Perhaps you want the timer to always have a value from 200 to 255. If you use mode 0 or 1, youd have to check in code to see if the timer had overflowed and, if so, reset the timer to 200. This takes precious instructions of execution time to check the value and/or to reload it. When you use mode 2 the microcontroller takes care of this for you. Once youve configured a timer in mode 2 you dont have to worry about checking to see if the timer has overflowed nor do you have to worry about resetting the value--the microcontroller hardware will do it all for you.
The auto-reload mode is very commonly used for establishing a baud rate which we will talk more about in the Serial Communications chapter.
Split Timer Mode (mode 3)
Timer mode "3" is a split-timer mode. When Timer 0 is placed in mode 3, it essentially becomes two separate 8-bit timers. That is to say, Timer 0 is TL0 and Timer 1 is TH0. Both timers count from 0 to 255 and overflow back to 0. All the bits that are related to Timer 1 will now be tied to TH0.
While Timer 0 is in split mode, the real Timer 1 (i.e. TH1 and TL1) can be put into modes 0, 1 or 2 normally--however, you may not start or stop the real timer 1 since the bits that do that are now linked to TH0. The real timer 1, in this case, will be incremented every machine cycle no matter what.
The only real use I can see of using split timer mode is if you need to have two separate timers and, additionally, a baud rate generator. In such case you can use the real Timer 1 as a baud rate generator and use TH0/TL0 as two separate timers.
The TCON SFR
Finally, theres one more SFR that controls the two timers and provides valuable information about them. The TCON SFR has the following structure:
    TCON (88h) SFR
    BitNameBit AddressExplanation of FunctionTimer
    7TF18FhTimer 1 Overflow. This bit is set by the microcontroller when Timer 1 overflows.1
    6TR18EhTimer 1 Run. When this bit is set Timer 1 is turned on. When this bit is clear Timer 1 is off.1
    5TF08DhTimer 0 Overflow. This bit is set by the microcontroller when Timer 0 overflows.0
    4TR08ChTimer 0 Run. When this bit is set Timer 0 is turned on. When this bit is clear Timer 0 is off.0
As you may notice, weve only defined 4 of the 8 bits. Thats because the other 4 bits of the SFR dont have anything to do with timers--they have to do with Interrupts and they will be discussed in the chapter that addresses interrupts.
A new piece of information in this chart is the column "bit address." This is because this SFR is "bit-addressable." What does this mean? It means if you want to set the bit TF1--which is the highest bit of TCON--you could execute the command:
    MOV TCON, #80h
... or, since the SFR is bit-addressable, you could just execute the command:
    SETB TF1
This has the benefit of setting the high bit of TCON without changing the value of any of the other bits of the SFR. Usually when you start or stop a timer you dont want to modify the other values in TCON, so you take advantage of the fact that the SFR is bit-addressable.
Initializing a Timer
Now that weve discussed the timer-related SFRs we are ready to write code that will initialize the timer and start it running.
As youll recall, we first must decide what mode we want the timer to be in. In this case we want a 16-bit timer that runs continuously; that is to say, it is not dependent on any external pins.
We must first initialize the TMOD SFR. Since we are working with timer 0 we will be using the lowest 4 bits of TMOD. The first two bits, GATE0 and C/T0 are both 0 since we want the timer to be independent of the external pins. 16-bit mode is timer mode 1 so we must clear T0M1 and set T0M0. Effectively, the only bit we want to turn on is bit 0 of TMOD. Thus to initialize the timer we execute the instruction:
    MOV TMOD,#01h
Timer 0 is now in 16-bit timer mode. However, the timer is not running. To start the timer running we must set the TR0 bit We can do that by executing the instruction:
    SETB TR0
Upon executing these two instructions timer 0 will immediately begin counting, being incremented once every machine cycle (every 12 crystal pulses).
Reading the Timer
There are two common ways of reading the value of a 16-bit timer; which you use depends on your specific application. You may either read the actual value of the timer as a 16-bit number, or you may simply detect when the timer has overflowed.
Reading the value of a Timer
If your timer is in an 8-bit mode--that is, either 8-bit AutoReload mode or in split timer mode--then reading the value of the timer is simple. You simply read the 1-byte value of the timer and youre done.
However, if youre dealing with a 13-bit or 16-bit timer the chore is a little more complicated. Consider what would happen if you read the low byte of the timer as 255, then read the high byte of the timer as 15. In this case, what actually happened was that the timer value was 14/255 (high byte 14, low byte 255) but you read 15/255. Why? Because you read the low byte as 255. But when you executed the next instruction a small amount of time passed--but enough for the timer to increment again at which time the value rolled over from 14/255 to 15/0. But in the process youve read the timer as being 15/255. Obviously theres a problem there.
The solution? Its not too tricky, really. You read the high byte of the timer, then read the low byte, then read the high byte again. If the high byte read the second time is not the same as the high byte read the first time you repeat the cycle. In code, this would appear as:
    REPEAT:MOV A,TH0
    MOV R0,TL0
    CJNE A,TH0,REPEAT
    ...
In this case, we load the accumulator with the high byte of Timer 0. We then load R0 with the low byte of Timer 0. Finally, we check to see if the high byte we read out of Timer 0--which is now stored in the Accumulator--is the same as the current Timer 0 high byte. If it isnt it means weve just "rolled over" and must reread the timers value--which we do by going back to REPEAT. When the loop exits we will have the low byte of the timer in R0 and the high byte in the Accumulator.
Another much simpler alternative is to simply turn off the timer run bit (i.e. CLR TR0), read the timer value, and then turn on the timer run bit (i.e. SETB TR0). In that case, the timer isnt running so no special tricks are necessary. Of course, this implies that your timer will be stopped for a few machine cycles. Whether or not this is tolerable depends on your specific application.
Detecting Timer Overflow
Often it is necessary to just know that the timer has reset to 0. That is to say, you are not particularly interest in the value of the timer but rather you are interested in knowing when the timer has overflowed back to 0.
Whenever a timer overflows from its highest value back to 0, the microcontroller automatically sets the TFx bit in the TCON register. This is useful since rather than checking the exact value of the timer you can just check if the TFx bit is set. If TF0 is set it means that timer 0 has overflowed; if TF1 is set it means that timer 1 has overflowed.
We can use this approach to cause the program to execute a fixed delay. As youll recall, we calculated earlier that it takes the 8051 1/20th of a second to count from 0 to 46,079. However, the TFx flag is set when the timer overflows back to 0. Thus, if we want to use the TFx flag to indicate when 1/20th of a second has passed we must set the timer initially to 65536 less 46079, or 19,457. If we set the timer to 19,457, 1/20th of a second later the timer will overflow. Thus we come up with the following code to execute a pause of 1/20th of a second:
    MOV TH0,#76;High byte of 19,457 (76 * 256 = 19,456)
    MOV TL0,#01;Low byte of 19,457 (19,456 + 1 = 19,457)
    MOV TMOD,#01;Put Timer 0 in 16-bit mode
    SETB TR0;Make Timer 0 start counting
    JNB TF0,$;If TF0 is not set, jump back to this same instruction
In the above code the first two lines initialize the Timer 0 starting value to 19,457. The next two instructions configure timer 0 and turn it on. Finally, the last instruction JNB TF0,$, reads "Jump, if TF0 is not set, back to this same instruction." The "$" operand means, in most assemblers, the address of the current instruction. Thus as long as the timer has not overflowed and the TF0 bit has not been set the program will keep executing this same instruction. After 1/20th of a second timer 0 will overflow, set the TF0 bit, and program execution will then break out of the loop.
Timing the length of events
The 8051 provides another cool toy that can be used to time the length of events.
For example, let's say we're trying to save electricity in the office and we're interested in how long a light is turned on each day. When the light is turned on, we want to measure time. When the light is turned off we don't. One option would be to connect the lightswitch to one of the pins, constantly read the pin, and turn the timer on or off based on the state of that pin. While this would work fine, the 8051 provides us with an easier method of accomplishing this.
Looking again at the TMOD SFR, there is a bit called GATE0. So far we've always cleared this bit because we wanted the timer to run regardless of the state of the external pins. However, now it would be nice if an external pin could control whether the timer was running or not. It can. All we need to do is connect the lightswitch to pin INT0 (P3.2) on the 8051 and set the bit GATE0. When GATE0 is set Timer 0 will only run if P3.2 is high. When P3.2 is low (i.e., the lightswitch is off) the timer will automatically be stopped.
Thus, with no control code whatsoever, the external pin P3.2 can control whether or not our timer is running or not.
USING TIMERS AS EVENT COUNTERS
We've discussed how a timer can be used for the obvious purpose of keeping track of time. However, the 8051 also allows us to use the timers to count events.
How can this be useful? Let's say you had a sensor placed across a road that would send a pulse every time a car passed over it. This could be used to determine the volume of traffic on the road. We could attach this sensor to one of the 8051's I/O lines and constantly monitor it, detecting when it pulsed high and then incrementing our counter when it went back to a low state. This is not terribly difficult, but requires some code. Let's say we hooked the sensor to P1.0; the code to count cars passing would look something like this:
    JNB P1.0,$;If a car hasn't raised the signal, keep waiting
    JB P1.0,$;The line is high which means the car is on the sensor right now
    INC COUNTER;The car has passed completely, so we count it
As you can see, it's only three lines of code. But what if you need to be doing other processing at the same time? You can't be stuck in the JNB P1.0,$ loop waiting for a car to pass if you need to be doing other things. Of course, there are ways to get around even this limitation but the code quickly becomes big, complex, and ugly.
Luckily, since the 8051 provides us with a way to use the timers to count events we don't have to bother with it. It is actually painfully easy. We only have to configure one additional bit.
Let's say we want to use Timer 0 to count the number of cars that pass. If you look back to the bit table for the TCON SFR you will there is a bit called "C/T0"--it's bit 2 (TCON.2). Reviewing the explanation of the bit we see that if the bit is clear then timer 0 will be incremented every machine cycle. This is what we've already used to measure time. However, if we set C/T0 timer 0 will monitor the P3.4 line. Instead of being incremented every machine cycle, timer 0 will count events on the P3.4 line. So in our case we simply connect our sensor to P3.4 and let the 8051 do the work. Then, when we want to know how many cars have passed, we just read the value of timer 0--the value of timer 0 will be the number of cars that have passed.
So what exactly is an event? What does timer 0 actually "count?" Speaking at the electrical level, the 8051 counts 1-0 transitions on the P3.4 line. This means that when a car first runs over our sensor it will raise the input to a high ("1") condition. At that point the 8051 will not count anything since this is a 0-1 transition. However, when the car has passed the sensor will fall back to a low ("0") state. This is a 1-0 transition and at that instant the counter will be incremented by 1.
It is important to note that the 8051 checks the P3.4 line each instruction cycle (12 clock cycles). This means that if P3.4 is low, goes high, and goes back low in 6 clock cycles it will probably not be detected by the 8051. This also means the 8051 event counter is only capable of counting events that occur at a maximum of 1/24th the rate of the crystal frequency. That is to say, if the crystal frequency is 12.000 Mhz it can count a maximum of 500,000 events per second (12.000 Mhz * 1/24 = 500,000). If the event being counted occurs more than 500,000 times per second it will not be able to be accurately counted by the 8051.
8051 Micro Controller - B.Suresh 8051 Micro Controller - B.Suresh Reviewed by Suresh Bojja on 8/29/2015 12:42:00 AM Rating: 5

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