8254 programmable interval timer

In this lecture, we are going to learn about the 8254 programmable interval timer, its features, pin configuration of 8254, block diagram of 8254, and its operating modes in detail. So let’s start with the basic introduction of it.

Introduction of 8254

In a microprocessor-based system, we come across two important modes, i.e. timer -> to provide delay and counter -> to count incoming pulses. Presently, the way we implement timer/counter in 8085 based system has the following drawbacks:

  1. Delay: The 8085 can provide delays of any value, but it uses software to implement the delay. The instructions are arranged to waste time. The main disadvantage of this scheme is that 8085 executes some instructions, which means that it is busy doing work.
  2. Counter: The 8085 can count the number of pulses arriving at the port. To implement this 8085 goes on the checking port, if it is active it increases the counter by 1 and again goes on the checking port. With the same disadvantage, 8085 will have to execute instructions.

In a large system, where 8085 microprocessor wastage time is critical, a separate time IC 8254 can be used. 8254 programmable interval timer consists of 3 identical 16-bit counters. These counters can work as counters or can provide accurate time delays. To operate as a counter, a 16-bit count is loaded, and the desired mode of operation is selected. The counters will work independently and generate the desired output. Now the 8085 Microprocessor’s job is to initialize and load counters.

Difference between 8253 and 8254 programmable Interval Timer

Operating frequency 0 – 2.6 MHz Operating frequency 0 – 10 MHz
Uses N-MOS technologyUses H-MOS technology
The read-Back command is not available.The read-back command is available.
Read and writes of the same counter cannot be interleaved.Reads and writes of the same counter can be interleaved.

Also Read: 8259A Programmable Interrupt Controller

Features of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

  • Three independent 16-bit down counters.
  • Counters can be programmed in 6 different programmable counter modes.
  • Counting facility in both binary or BCD number systems.
  • Compatible with Intel and other microprocessor.
  • Single +5 V supply.
  • 24-pin dual in-line package.
  • It is completely TTL-compatible.
  • It has a powerful command called READ BACK COMMAND which allows the user to check the count value, programmed mode and current mode, and the current status of the counter.
  • Operating frequency range; FOr 8253 -DC to 2.6 MHz; For 8254 – DC to 10 MHz.

Block Diagram of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

The block diagram of 8254 Programmable Interval Times is shown in the figure below:

Block Diagram of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

It includes a data bus buffer, read/write logic, control word register, and counters.

1. Dats Bus Buffer:

  • It is a tristate, bidirectional 8-bit data bus buffer.
  • It is used to interface the 8254 data bus with the system data bus.
  • It is internally connected to the internal data bus and its outer pins D0-D7 are connected to the system data bus. The direction of the data buffer is decided by read and write control signals.

2. Read/Write Logic:

  • This block accepts inputs from the system control bus and address bus.
  • In I/O mapped I/O, the signals \overline{RD} and \overline{WR} are connected to \overline{IOR} and \overline{IOW}.
  • In memory mapped I/O \overline{RD} and \overline{WR}, are connected to \overline{MEMR} and \overline{MEMW}.
  • A0 and A1 are directly connected to address lines A0 and A1.
  • \overline{CS} is connected to address decoder.
  • The 8254 operation/selection is enabled/disabled by \overline{CS} signal. A0, A1 selects a specific part \overline{WR}, \overline{RD}decides writing data to 8254 or reading data from 8254.
  • The control word registers and the counters are selected according to the signals on lines A0 and A1.
00Counter 0
01Counter 1
10Counter 2
11Control word register

3. Control Word Register:

  • This register of 8254 programmable interval timer gets selected when A0=1 and A1=1.
  • It is used to specify the BCD or binary counter to be used, its mode of operation and the data transfer to be used i.e. read or write the data bytes.
  • If the CPU performs a write operation, the data is stored in the control word register and is preferred as the control word. It is used to define the counter operation.
  • The data can only be written into the control word register, no read operation is allowed. Status information is available with the help of the read-back command.

4. Counters:

  • There are three independent, 16-bit down counters.
  • They can be programmed separately through the control word register to decide the mode of the counter.
  • Each counter has 2 inputs viz. CLK and GATE.
  • CLK is used as an input to the counter and GATE is used to control the counter.
  • The counters give output on the OUT pin.
  • The loaded count value in the counter will be decremented by the counter at each clock input pulse. The programmer can read the counter without disturbing the counter operation.

Also Read: 8255 PPI (Programmable Peripheral Interface)

Pin Configuration of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

The pin configuration of Pin Configuration of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer is as shown in the figure below:

D7 – D0I/OData Bus
CLKNICounter Inputs
GATENICounter GATE inputs
OUTNOCounter outputs
\overline{CS}IChip Select
A0 – A1ICounter select
VCC/GNDI+5 V supply/Ground
pin diagram of 8254

Pin Description of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

D7 – D0 Data BusThese are 8-bit bidirectional data bus lines, connected to the system data bus for data transfer between 8085 and 8254.
\overline{CS} Chip SelectThis is an active low input signal, used to select the 8254 IC. If \overline{CS} = 0 then 8254 will be active and take part in data transfer from/to 8085 otherwise 8254 will be in the de-active state.
\overline{RD} ReadThis is an active low input signal, used in coordination with A0, A1 to send data from appropriate counter to data lines D7 – D0.
\overline{RD}WriteThis is an active low input signal, used in coordination with A0, and A1 to load counters or to initialize counters.
A0 – A1Address LinesThese are input address lines used to distinguish different parts of 8254 such as counter 0, counter 1, counter 2, and control word register.
CLK0-2 Clock InputThese are clock inputs to 3 independent counters. The pulse applied at these pins will be counted by the respective counter.
GATE0-2 Gate ControlThese are active high, input signals used to allow external hardware to control the respective counter. The function of gate input is dependent on the operating mode.
OUT0-2 OutputThese Lines are active high-output lines. The output is dependent on operating modes.

Control Word Register Formate of 8254

The control word register format of the 8254 programmable interval timer is as shown in the figure below:

control word register 8254
  • The control word register bits, SC1 and SC0, select the control word register for the counter and are used to initialize the counters.
  • A0 and A1 select counters, but they are used to read/load counters by microprocessor.
  • The bits RL0 and RL1 are used to read/load, data bytes i.e. LSB byte, MSB byte, or both LSB and MSB bytes.
  • The bits M2, M1, and M0 decide the mode of operation for the selected counter, Mode0- Mode5.
  • The bit, BCD, decides the mode of counting i.e. BCD counter or binary counter.

Operating Modes of 8254 Programmable Interval Timer

The 8254 programmable interval timer IC provides the following modes of operation of 8254:

  1. Mode 0: Interrupt on Terminal Count
  2. Mode 1: Programmable One Shot/ Hardware Triggerable One Shot
  3. Mode 2: Rate Generator / Pulse Generator
  4. Mode 3: Square Wave Generator
  5. Mode 4: Software Triggered Strobe
  6. Mode 5: Hardware Triggered Strobe

Also Read: 8237 DMA Controller

Hello friends, my name is Trupal Bhavsar, I am the Writer and Founder of this blog. I am Electronics Engineer(2014 pass out), Currently working as Junior Telecom Officer(B.S.N.L.) also I do Project Development, PCB designing and Teaching of Electronics Subjects.

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