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Interfacing Sensors and

Embedded System Diagnostics

EE4380 Fall 02
Class 11

Pari vallal Kannan

Center for Integrated Circuits and Systems
University of Texas at Dallas
Analog Devices
l Analog signals are very common inputs to
embedded systems
– Most transducers and sensors are analog
l Special devices needed to interface analog
devices to digital systems
l ADC à Analog to Digital Converter
– Between signal input and the embedded system
l DAC à Digital to Analog Converter
– Between embedded system and analog signal

1-Oct-02 2
ADC - 804
l Commonly used ADC device – ADC804
l Specs
– Microprocessor compatible
– Single voltage supply (+5V) operation,
– Differential analog inputs. 0 - 5V input voltage (Vin+, Vin-)
– Variable input voltage range (Pin Vref/2)
– Internal Clock Generator (RC on CLK IN, CLK R pins)
l PinOut
– CS – Chip Select , active low
– RD – Read Digital data from ADC, H-L edge triggered
– WR -- Start conversion, L-H pulse edge triggered
– INTR -- end of conversion, Goes low to indicate conversion done
– Data bits -- D0-D7

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ADC - Parameters
l Resolution
– 8 bits for ADC804
l Conversion Time
– Greater than 110us for ADC804
l Input Voltage range
– Default 0-5V. Can be changed by setting different value for
Vref/2 pin
– Range = 0 to 2x Vref/2
l Step Size à Smallest change
– (2 x Vref/2)/ 256 for ADC804
l Data Out
– Dout = Vin / Step Size

1-Oct-02 4
Interfacing ADC804 to 8051
l Signals to be interfaced (on the ADC804)
– D0-D7, RD, WR, INTR, CS
l IO Mapping (easiest)
– Connect D0-D7, RD, WR, CS, INTR to some port bits on the 8051 (12
in all).
– CS may be unused for IO mapped operation (11 port bits in all)
l Memory Mapping
– Connect D0-D7 of ADC804 to the data bus of the 8051 system
– Connect RD, WR of the ADC804 to the 8051 system (ensure polarity)
– Connect CS of ADC804 to an appropriate address decoder output
– Connect INTR of ADC804 to an external interrupt Pin on the 8051
(INT0 or INT1)

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ADC804 - Code Examples
l IO Mapped à P1 to D0-D7, P2.5 to RD, P2.6 to WR,
P2.7 to INTR
l Memory Mapped à Try it !

ADC_IO: mov P1, #0xFF ;make P1 input

setb P2.5 ;RD=1
clr P2.6 ;WR=0
setb P2.6 ;WR=1
WAIT: jb P2.7, WAIT ;wait for INTR
clr P2.5 ;RD=0
mov A, P1 ;read digital o/p

1-Oct-02 6
LM34DZ with ADC804
l LM34DZ
– Temperature sensor
– Linear, +32F to +212F, 10mV/F
– 3 pins à Vcc, GND and Vout
l Interfacing LM34DZ with ADC804
– ADC804 has 256 steps
– LM34 produces 10mV/F, (212-32 = 180) steps
– So go for a full scale Vout of 256 x 10mv = 2.56V
– Vref/2 should then be 1.28V
– ADC O/P : 0x00 à +32F, 0x01 à +33F, 0x02 à+34F …..
0xB4 à+212F

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LM34DZ and ADC804 (contd.)
l Vref/2 of any value can be obtained by
– using a Zener diode (eg. LM336 2.5V) and a pot
(very stable)
– Resistive network of two resistors (susceptible to
variations in resistors and power supply jitter/noise)

1-Oct-02 8
Digital to Analog Converter - DAC
l Commonly used DAC808 (MC1408)
– R/2R ladder
– Iout = Iref (D7/2 + D6/4 + D5/8 + …… + D0/256)
– Iout converted to voltage by a resistive load or op-amp based
isolator (Rf from Vout to V- and V+ to GND)
l PinOut – Check with the datasheet for setting up the
reference current
– D0-D7 à Connected to the Processor’s IO port
l Usage:
– Just write a byte to the IO port and the DAC converts it to an
analog value
l Some 8051 clones have ADCs and DACs in built

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Embedded System Debugging
l What to do when your embedded system
design is not working as expected ?
l There is no cosmic conspiracy against you !
– Most problems have simple causes and solutions
l Know the basics about test equipment
l Know the electrical properties of the
components in your system
– Absolute maximum ratings of currents and voltages
– Maximum frequency of operation

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Types of problems
l Always present (reproducible)
– Dead board
– No activity of a certain subsystem (display, keypad,
l Erratic (sometimes irreproducible)
– Happens occasionally
– Usually difficult to debug and demands the most
l Hardware problems
l Software prolems

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Test Equipment
l DMM, logic probe
– Continuity tests, voltage measurements
– Most trouble-shooting and fixing happens with these
– Cheap, highly portable, versatile
– For checking fast changing signals
– Quick check on activity of important pins on clocks,
processors, memory, decoders, chip_selects etc
l Logic Analyzer
– For detailed analysis of a number of signals simultaneously
over a time-span
– For debugging data accesses, DMAs, interrupts, I2C, etc
– Identify and trouble-shoot timing violations (setup and hold
times) etc.
– High $$$
1-Oct-02 12
Problem Domains in Emb. Systems
l Power related
– Insufficient drive, switching induced noise, brown outs
– No power at all. Disconnected or dry solder joints on Vcc, GND pins
l Design related - Schematic
– Bad netlist, wrong connections, wrong pin-out
l Design related - Logic and Timing
– Poor logic design (state machines, decoders, address generators,
PLDs, etc)
– Timing violations (setup and hold times, memory accesses, DMAs,
interrupts, etc)
l Manufacturing related
– General open circuits and shorts
– Dry solder, bad wire-wrap,stray metal pieces, bent pins etc
l Random

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Trouble-shooting – Broad Outline
l Analytical thinking
– Think about possible “reasons” that can cause the
problem seen
– Check the input to the system – your design and its
schematics (remember GIGO)
l Problem domain identification
l Eliminate hardware issues. Then it’s the
software’s turn

1-Oct-02 14
Hardware Debugging
l Check power and gnd connectivity on all Ics and
l Check clock connectivity
l Check if the processor is out of RESET
l Check for activity on signals known for continuous
– 8051 – ALE, PSEN, AD[], A[]
– Memory – address lines and data lines (LSBs are best)
– All ICs – Chip selects, WR and RD
l Check voltage levels on all transceivers
– RS232 interfaces (MAX232s), transducers etc
l Check HOST settings
– Port settings (COM, LPT), etc
1-Oct-02 15
Hardware Debugging - Elimination
l Power OK ?
l Clock OK ?
l Processor OK ?
– ALE, PSEN, RD, WR etc
l Memory OK ?
– Address and data lines, Chip-selects
l Peripherals OK ?
l Not done yet ?
– Timing analysis (data sheets, LA etc)
– Analyze data transfers (LA)

1-Oct-02 16
Real world scenario 1
l System Under Test – old Pentium Motherboard
l Symptoms
– Motherboard does not boot
– CPU fan ON
– Everything else fine (VGA, memory, etc)
l Diagnosis
– Maybe the CPU is dead or not powered ???
– Turn on the board and feel the CPU
– CPU cold : maybe no power ? But Fan is on. But fan takes 12V.
CPU uses 5V. Maybe 5V supply is dead
– Check 5V pin on the PS. Dead.
– Use another PS and turn ON the board
– Board boots fine !

1-Oct-02 17
Scenario 2
l 8051 board not communicating with Host
l Symptoms
– 8051 board powers up.
– No communication with host. Host settings fine
l Diagnosis
– Check power for all ICs. Passed
– Check ALE and PSEN activity. Passed (8051 fine and out of
– Check voltage levels on MAX232 pins. Wrong voltage on Rx
– Check serial cable connectivity. Monitor Rx on CRO while
punching keys on the Host terminal. No activity. Possibly, OC
on the Rx pin/header.
– Replace serial port header. Communication successful.

1-Oct-02 18
Software Issues
l Embedded systems are highly affected by the software
! (duh)
l Software based diagnostics running on the system are
l Bad code
– Wrong programming of control registers
– Wrong assembly. Corrupt PROMs
– Code in infinite loop with no termination condition
l Address issues
– Mismatch between hardware’s memory map and
programmer’s memory map
– Timing violations in code for DMAs, LCDs, ports etc

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In system Diagnostics
l Very simple code snippets included in the
PROM (along with the system’s main code)
l Simple tests
– Light up a status LED
– Display register contents on a 7seg LED display
– Put out a string on serial port

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In system Diagnostics
l Detailed tests
– Memory test routines (bit walk, AA55 tests, etc)
– Peripheral tests
l Tests for keypad, LCD, ADC/DAC, etc
– Host communication tests
– Register and stack read write tests
– DMA and interrupt tests
l Effective debugging involves using diagnostics
and hardware tests

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