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Introduction In our daily life, anything we deal like sound, pressure, voltage or any measurable quantity, are usually

in analog form So what if we want to interface any analog sensor with our digital controllers? There must be something that translate the analog inputs to digital output, and so Analog to digital convertors come to play. Usually we call them ADC (Analog to digital convertor). Before going to learn how to interface an ADC with a controller we first take a look at basic methods of analog to digital conversion. This is a sample of the large number of analog-to-digital conversion methods. The basic principle of operation is to use the comparator principle to determine whether or not to turn on a particular bit of the binary number output. It is typical for an ADC to use a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to determine one of the inputs to the comparator. Following are the most used converion methods: Digital-Ramp ADC Successive Approximation ADC Flash ADC Digital-Ramp ADC

Conversion from analog to digital form inherently involves comparator action where the value of the analog voltage at some point in time is compared with some standard. A common way to do that is to apply the analog voltage to one terminal of a comparator and trigger a binary counter which drives a DAC. The output of the DAC is applied to the other terminal of the comparator. Since the output of the DAC is

increasing with the counter, it will trigger the comparator at some point when its voltage exceeds the analog input. The transition of the comparator stops the binary counter, which at that point holds the digital value corresponding to the analog voltage. Successive Approximation ADC Illustration of 4-bit SAC with 1 volt step size

The successive approximation ADC is much faster than the digital ramp ADC because it uses digital logic to converge on the value closest to the input voltage. A comparator and a DAC are used in the process. A flowchart explaning the working is shown in the figure below.

Flash ADC

Illustrated is a 3-bit flash ADC with resolution 1 volt (after Tocci). The resistor net and comparators provide an input to the combinational logic circuit, so the conversion time is just the propagation delay through the network - it is not limited by the clock rate or some convergence sequence. It is the fastest type of ADC available, but requires a comparator for each value of output (63 for 6-bit, 255 for 8-bit, etc.) Such ADCs are available in IC form up to 8-bit and 10-bit flash ADCs (1023 comparators) are planned. The encoder logic executes a truth table to convert the ladder of inputs to the binary number output. Now we lets take a look at the various Analog to Digital convertors that are most commonly used with our controllers Name Description ADC0800 8-bit ADC ADC0801 8-bit ADC 100us 0.25 LSB ADC0802 8-bit ADC 100us 0.5 LSB ADC0804 8-bit ADC 100us 1.0 LSB ADC0808 8-bit 8 channel 100us ADC ADC0809 8-Bit 8 channel ADC (=~ADC0808) AD571 10-Bit, A/D Converter, Complete with Reference and Clock MAX1204 5V, 8-Channel, Serial, 10-Bit ADC with 3V Digital Interface MAX1202 5V, 8-Channel, Serial, 12-Bit ADCs with 3V Digital Interface MAX195 16-Bit, Self-Calibrating, 10us Sampling ADC More information on how to interface the above listed ADC can be obtained from the datasheets of respective ICs. In the next part of tutorial we will look into the interfacing and programming of a simple 8-bit ADC (ADC0804).

ADC0804 Pinout and Typical Connections

As shown in the typica circuit, ADC0804 can be interfaced with any microcontroller. You need a minimum of 11 pins to interface ADC0804, eight for data pins and 3 for control pins. As shown in the typical circuit the chip select pin can be made low if you are not using the microcontroller port for any other peripheral (multiplexing). There is a universal rule to find out how to use an IC. All you need is the datasheet of the IC you are working with and take a look at the timing diagram of the IC which shows how to send the data, which signal to assert and at what time the signal should be made high or low etc. Note: Keep this in mind that whenever you are working with an IC and you want to know how to communicate with that IC, then simply look into the timing diagram of that IC from its datasheet. It gives you complete information that you need regarding the communication of IC.

The above timing diagrams are from ADC0804 datasheet. The first diagram (FIGURE 10A) shows how to start a conversion. Also you can see which signals are to be asserted and at what time to start a conversion. So looking into the timing diagram FIGURE 10A. We note down the steps or say the order in which signals are to be asserted to start a conversion of ADC. As we have decided to make Chip select pin as low so we need not to bother about the CS signal in the timing diagram. Below steps are for starting an ADC conversion. I am also including CS signal to give you a clear picture. While programming we will not use this signal. 1. Make chip select (CS) signal low. 2. Make write (WR) signal low. 3. Make chip select (CS) high. 4. Wait for INTR pin to go low (means conversion ends). Once the conversion in ADC is done, the data is available in the output latch of the ADC. Looking at the FIGURE 10B which shows the timing diagram of how to read the converted value from the output latch of the ADC. Data of the new conversion is

only avalable for reading after ADC0804 made INTR pin low or say when the conversion is over. Below are the stepts to read output from the ADC0804. 1. Make chip select (CS) pin low. 2. Make read (RD) signal low. 3. Read the data from port where ADC is connected. 4. Make read (RD) signal high. 5. Make chip select (CS) high. In the next section of this tutorial we will follow the above mentioned steps to program the ADC.