Fast PWM Mode

The fast Pulse Width Modulation or fast PWM mode (WGM21:0 = 3) provides a high frequency PWM waveform generation option. The fast PWM differs from the other PWM option by its single-slope operation. The counter counts from BOTTOM to MAX then restarts from BOTTOM. In non-inverting Compare Output mode, the Output Compare (OC2) is cleared on the Compare Match between TCNT2 and OCR2, and set at BOTTOM. In inverting Compare Output mode, the output is set on Compare Match and cleared at BOTTOM. Due to the single-slope operation, the operating frequency of the fast PWM mode can be twice as high as the phase correct PWM mode that uses dual-slope operation. This high frequency makes the fast PWM mode well suited for power regulation, rectification, and DAC applications. High frequency allows physically small sized external components (coils, capacitors), and therefore reduces total system cost.

In fast PWM mode, the counter is incremented until the counter value matches the MAX value. The counter is then cleared at the following timer clock cycle. The timing diagram for the fast PWM mode is shown in the following figure. The TCNT2 value is in the timing diagram shown as a histogram for illustrating the single-slope operation. The diagram includes non-inverted and inverted PWM outputs. The small horizontal line marks on the TCNT2 slopes represent compare matches between OCR2 and TCNT2.

Figure 1. Fast PWM Mode, Timing Diagram

The Timer/Counter Overflow Flag (TOV2) is set each time the counter reaches MAX. If the interrupt is enabled, the interrupt handler routine can be used for updating the compare value.

In fast PWM mode, the compare unit allows generation of PWM waveforms on the OC2 pin. Setting the COM21:0 bits to 2 will produce a non-inverted PWM and an inverted PWM output can be generated by setting the COM21:0 to 3. The actual OC2 value will only be visible on the port pin if the data direction for the port pin is set as output. The PWM waveform is generated by setting (or clearing) the OC2 Register at the Compare Match between OCR2 and TCNT2, and clearing (or setting) the OC2 Register at the timer clock cycle the counter is cleared (changes from MAX to BOTTOM).

The PWM frequency for the output can be calculated by the following equation:


The N variable represents the prescaler factor (1, 8, 32, 64, 128, 256, or 1024).

The extreme values for the OCR2 Register represent special cases when generating a PWM waveform output in the fast PWM mode. If the OCR2 is set equal to BOTTOM, the output will be a narrow spike for each MAX+1 timer clock cycle. Setting the OCR2 equal to MAX will result in a constantly high or low output (depending on the polarity of the output set by the COM21:0 bits.)

A frequency (with 50% duty cycle) waveform output in fast PWM mode can be achieved by setting OC2 to toggle its logical level on each Compare Match (COM21:0 = 1). The waveform generated will have a maximum frequency of foc2 = fclk_I/O/2 when OCR2 is set to zero. This feature is similar to the OC2 toggle in CTC mode, except the double buffer feature of the Output Compare unit is enabled in the fast PWM mode.