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Implementation of Vernier TDCs in 8-bit Microcontrollers

Conference paper
Authors Lars Bengtsson
Published in Instrumentation and Measurement Technology Conference (I2MTC) Proceedings, 2014 IEEE International
Pages 1-4
ISBN 978-1-4673-6386-0
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 1-4
Language en
Keywords TDC; Time - to - Digital Converter ; Vernier clock; microcontroller ;
Subject categories Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation, Electronic measurement and instrumentation, Embedded Systems


This paper discusses the aspects of implementing a TDC with Vernier resolution in a microcontroller system. Results will show that the proposed solution have a potential time resolution corresponding exactly to the theoretically expected resolution (equal to the time difference in the Vernier clocks’ period), but also that there is an inherent sample-to-sample uncertainty due to the fact that microcontrollers cannot compare two (running) timer registers in hardware. The moment of coincidence of the Vernier clocks must be detected in software and that will generate an uncertainty in the coincidence detection that depends on the microcontroller architecture. In the design example proposed, a time resolution of 2 ns is achieved using a PIC microcontroller clocked with a 20 MHz. However, the proposed method is general and resolution is limited only to the frequency matching of the two Vernier clocks.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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