1. This forum section is a read-only archive which contains old newsgroup posts. If you wish to post a query, please do so in one of our main forum sections (here). This way you will get a faster, better response from the members on Motherboard Point.

µController wake up on compare (analog value == pre set internal value)?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Ben, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Ben

    Ben Guest


    I need to find a µController that is going to be put to sleep/idle mode and
    then wake up when an analog input exceeds a pre set internal value. The
    value is set inside the µController before sleep/idle mode.

    I have only found µC's that compares two analog signal levels (not comparing
    an analog level with an internal value).
    Ben, Apr 12, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  2. Ben

    -jg Guest

    Look at SiLabs family- many have a SFR to compare the ADC against,
    can generate an interrupt. Because it compares the ADC result, you do
    to trigger the ADC periodically, to refresh the comparison.
    So the core can sleep, but the timers need to run & the ADC triggers
    from those.

    -jg, Apr 12, 2007
    1. Advertisements

  3. Ben

    FD Guest

    I do not think you will find a microcontroller that can do that.
    There are 2 solutions I can think of:
    - use the uC that can compare 2 analog levels and use a DA convertor for the
    preset value (this could be in same uC)
    - use a timer to wakeup the uC and start a AD conversion, sleep until ADC is
    finished, read and compare the value

    FD, Apr 12, 2007
  4. The Analogue Compare is an analogue function.... hence a comparator, inside
    or or outside has current draw.

    You will have to do a deep search on the micro controllers data sheet to see
    weather the comparator "on-board" can operate while the uC is idle / a

    Joe G \(Home\), Apr 12, 2007
  5. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Thank you. I will look at www.silabs.com. :)

    Look at SiLabs family- many have a SFR to compare the ADC against,
    can generate an interrupt. Because it compares the ADC result, you do
    to trigger the ADC periodically, to refresh the comparison.
    So the core can sleep, but the timers need to run & the ADC triggers
    from those.

    Ben, Apr 12, 2007
  6. How quickly does the input change?
    Could you just wake periodically and convert, compare and then decide whether to start.
    Generating a reference voltage to wake from will be power hungry.

    Another approach may be to use a comparator, and pre-charge an external capacitor to the wake-up
    reference voltage, and wake periodically to refresh the capacitor value.

    Both of the above are likely to be more power- and cost-efficient than finding something to wake at
    a programmable voltage.
    Mike Harrison, Apr 12, 2007
  7. Ben

    Bo Guest

    Bo, Apr 12, 2007
  8. Ben

    Joerg Guest

    Need some more specs here, like how much sleep current is acceptable. In
    most uC the comparator is quite power hungry because it is designed to
    be fast. Some ideas:

    a. External comparator, as some have suggested. Besides regularly
    replenishing a cap to compare against you could also provide a low
    current DAC or a serial register plus (highish) R2R resistors. The old
    74HC164 comes to mind.

    b. If the signal change is guaranteed to be fast enough you could also
    use an external differentiator that just hits the rail when something
    changes too much. When it does, let it cause a regular port pin
    interrupt and have the uC look whether the signal level is above or
    below the threshold. Kind of the electronic equivalent of a motion detector.
    Joerg, Apr 13, 2007
  9. Some micros have a built-in analog comparator which can be used to
    generate an interrupt, which in turn will wake the micro. Built-in
    low-power DACs are less common (but, for example, some the 80C51
    derivatives have them), however some micros such as the PIC18F4220
    have a crude DAC that works over a limited range for dividing the
    supply voltage down as an optional comparator input. Of course the
    micro draws more current when that stuff is turned on. As always, if
    you don't like the on-board peripherals, you can certainly subsitute
    your own, and you may end up with a better solution that way.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
    Spehro Pefhany, Apr 13, 2007
  10. If the input signal does not change very fast, just charge a capacitor
    from the signal using a suitable resistor. A fixed voltage comparator
    monitors the capacitance voltage. When the comparator trips, it
    generates an interrupt. Assuming that some kind of low power real time
    clock is available (say some 32 kHz CMOS clock), read the time since
    the capacitor charging started. Finally reset the capacitor voltage
    either directly with the comparator or with an output pin from the
    interrupt service routine.

    The larger the input voltage, the faster the capacitor will be charged
    and the comparator will trip more often. Due to the exponential
    voltage change and various leakage currents, some care is required
    when relating the time between interrupts and the actual input

    Paul Keinanen, Apr 13, 2007
  11. Ben

    Petr Cach Guest

    Check the HCS08 family of Freescale micro. E.g. QG8 has an analog
    comparator, which compares to an internal value and can wake up the
    micro from wait mode.
    Petr Cach, Apr 13, 2007
  12. Ben

    Ben Guest

    It would at least need to wake upp every 0.1s to check the input voltage
    Ben, Apr 13, 2007
  13. Ben

    Ben Guest

    Thank you, I will check that out.

    Ben, Apr 13, 2007
  14. Ben

    -jg Guest

    Still sounds like the SiLabs devices are a good fit.
    Their ADCs have window limit sense registers, and they can trigger
    from Timer INTs, - the comparitors are also low power, and have
    Icc's from 1uA to 13uA .
    Or, you can turn off the ADC completely, and wakeup the device
    on a timer, and then enable/read/sleep the ADC

    -jg, Apr 13, 2007
  15. Ben

    mmihai Guest

    You can add an external 'Digital Potentiometers' and have the wiper as
    a reference for the internal (or external) analog comparator. With a
    potentiometer in 100-200Kohm range you'll burn 10-50uA, depends of
    your Vdd.

    A [voltage] DAC is usually buffered, so it will burn current for the
    output stage.
    mmihai, Apr 13, 2007
  16. Ben

    Joerg Guest

    Many of those internal comparators gobble a lot of power, probably
    groomed for speed.

    There is one other rather unorthodox trick to do it on the cheap: Many
    uC have a temp sensor on board. Temperature changes slowly so it could
    be pinged at a very low rate. An external transistor could be hooked up
    as a poor man's comparator, consuming next to nothing while not
    conducting. A few port pins could send in a wee compensating current to
    make up for temp-based Vbe changes. This transistor would then tug on a
    pulled up port pin when a certain value is exceeded. Of course that pin
    needs to have Schmitt characteristics but many uCs feature that these
    days (mind the cross current of that, too).
    Joerg, Apr 14, 2007
  17. Ben

    -jg Guest

    Not likely to have better than 5 bits of precision, and you have to
    the port linear currents.
    The better uC can wake up their Comparitors, and ADCs, and the OP only
    a slow update (100ms IIRC) so the current of any gated Analog soln
    will average
    quite low. The system would need a Dual-Osc design to really drive
    down the
    Icc, as the MHz Osc current will dominate, with the core in idle.

    -jg, Apr 15, 2007
  18. 10 microseconds on the PICs, IIRC. Not exactly a speed demon. Even an
    LMC7211 (7uA Idd. ~USD0.45 in 1K) is more than twice as fast.
    I don't quite follow what you're getting at here. You have an unknown
    voltage and you want to wake the micro when it (say) exceeds a certain
    (presumably programmable) threshold. You have a bunch of digital port
    pins carrying CMOS levels when lightly loaded (Vdd/Vss) How would the
    transistor help?

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
    Spehro Pefhany, Apr 15, 2007
  19. Ben

    Joerg Guest

    That is indeed freaking slow...
    This is how I did that on a switcher built from discretes (mostly for
    cost reasons): A transistor sits with its emitter on GND. R from base to
    GND. R from base to voltage to be measured. Several Rs from base to port
    pins, or in my case a register. Collector to Schmitt port pin with
    pull-up. That was pretty much it. The transistor turns on when Vbe
    reaches about 600mV. About, because that's different with temperature.
    The uC can compensate for that via adjusting the current into the base.
    Of course all this needs to be very low.

    If the desired threshold is above 700mV or so all steering resistors
    could steer to GND, meaning that there won't be a current draw from VCC
    unless the transistor has turned on. But then the interrupt routine does
    it's thing anyhow. Instead of using high, low and tri-state you might
    get away using only low and tri-state.

    If it has to be super precise I guess one could possibly use a TLV431.
    Joerg, Apr 16, 2007
  20. Ben

    Joerg Guest

    I don't know how much resolution Ben needs here. Linear currents?
    Usually not a concern in this case. Except for cross currents in the
    Schmitt input first stage that would need to enter into the battery life

    If the wake-up time and polling frequency is acceptable, yes. But it
    would be in essence a polling scheme, not strictly interrupt-driven
    anymore, except for the fact that the polling routine would generate an
    interrupt if it finds the level above threshold. In my cases we often
    could not afford the wait though. The interrupt needed to issue pretty
    much right now.
    Joerg, Apr 16, 2007
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.