5. Hardware timers

Timers can be used for a great variety of tasks, calling a function periodically, counting events, and generating a PWM signal are among the most common use cases. Each timer consists of two 16-bit channels and this channels can be tied together to form one 32-bit timer. The operating mode needs to be configured per timer, but then the period (or the frequency) can be independently configured on each channel. By using the callback method, the timer event can call a Python function.

Example usage to toggle an LED at a fixed frequency:

from machine import Timer
from machine import Pin
led = Pin('GP16', mode=Pin.OUT)                  # enable GP16 as output to drive the LED
tim = Timer(3)                                   # create a timer object using timer 3
tim.init(mode=Timer.PERIODIC)                    # initialize it in periodic mode
tim_ch = tim.channel(Timer.A, freq=5)            # configure channel A at a frequency of 5Hz
tim_ch.irq(handler=lambda t:led.toggle(), trigger=Timer.TIMEOUT)        # toggle a LED on every cycle of the timer

Example using named function for the callback:

from machine import Timer
from machine import Pin
tim = Timer(1, mode=Timer.PERIODIC, width=32)
tim_a = tim.channel(Timer.A | Timer.B, freq=1)   # 1 Hz frequency requires a 32 bit timer

led = Pin('GP16', mode=Pin.OUT) # enable GP16 as output to drive the LED

def tick(timer):                # we will receive the timer object when being called
    global led
    led.toggle()                # toggle the LED

tim_a.irq(handler=tick, trigger=Timer.TIMEOUT)         # create the interrupt

Further examples:

from machine import Timer
tim1 = Timer(1, mode=Timer.ONE_SHOT)                               # initialize it in one shot mode
tim2 = Timer(2, mode=Timer.PWM)                                    # initialize it in PWM mode
tim1_ch = tim1.channel(Timer.A, freq=10, polarity=Timer.POSITIVE)  # start the event counter with a frequency of 10Hz and triggered by positive edges
tim2_ch = tim2.channel(Timer.B, freq=10000, duty_cycle=5000)       # start the PWM on channel B with a 50% duty cycle
tim2_ch.freq(20)                                                   # set the frequency (can also get)
tim2_ch.duty_cycle(3010)                                           # set the duty cycle to 30.1% (can also get)
tim2_ch.duty_cycle(3020, Timer.NEGATIVE)                           # set the duty cycle to 30.2% and change the polarity to negative
tim2_ch.period(2000000)                                            # change the period to 2 seconds

5.1. Additional constants for Timer class


PWM timer operating mode.


Selects the timer channel. Must be ORed (Timer.A | Timer.B) when using a 32-bit timer.


Timer channel polarity selection (only relevant in PWM mode).


Timer channel IRQ triggers.