Phase and Frequency Correct PWM Mode

The phase and frequency correct Pulse Width Modulation, or phase and frequency correct PWM mode (WGM13:0 = 8 or 9) provides a high resolution phase and frequency correct PWM waveform generation option. The phase and frequency correct PWM mode is, like the phase correct PWM mode, based on a dual-slope operation. The counter counts repeatedly from BOTTOM (0x0000) to TOP and then from TOP to BOTTOM. In non-inverting Compare Output mode, the Output Compare (OC1x) is cleared on the Compare Match between TCNT1 and OCR1x while upcounting, and set on the Compare Match while downcounting. In inverting Compare Output mode, the operation is inverted. The dual-slope operation gives a lower maximum operation frequency compared to the single-slope operation. However, due to the symmetric feature of the dual-slope PWM modes, these modes are preferred for motor control applications.

The main difference between the phase correct, and the phase and frequency correct PWM mode is the time the OCR1x Register is updated by the OCR1x Buffer Register, (see Figure 1 and Figure 1).

The PWM resolution for the phase and frequency correct PWM mode can be defined by either ICR1 or OCR1A. The minimum resolution allowed is 2-bit (ICR1 or OCR1A set to 0x0003), and the maximum resolution is 16-bit (ICR1 or OCR1A set to MAX). The PWM resolution in bits can be calculated using the following equation:


In phase and frequency correct PWM mode the counter is incremented until the counter value matches either the value in ICR1 (WGM13:0 = 8), or the value in OCR1A (WGM13:0 = 9). The counter has then reached the TOP and changes the count direction. The TCNT1 value will be equal to TOP for one timer clock cycle. The timing diagram for the phase correct and frequency correct PWM mode is shown on timing diagram below. The figure shows phase and frequency correct PWM mode when OCR1A or ICR1 is used to define TOP. The TCNT1 value is in the timing diagram shown as a histogram for illustrating the dual-slope operation. The diagram includes non-inverted and inverted PWM outputs. The small horizontal line marks on the TCNT1 slopes represent compare matches between OCR1x and TCNT1. The OC1x Interrupt Flag will be set when a Compare Match occurs.

Figure 1. Phase and Frequency Correct PWM Mode, Timing Diagram

The Timer/Counter Overflow Flag (TOV1) is set at the same timer clock cycle as the OCR1x Registers are updated with the double buffer value (at BOTTOM). When either OCR1A or ICR1 is used for defining the TOP value, the OC1A or ICF1 Flag set when TCNT1 has reached TOP. The Interrupt Flags can then be used to generate an interrupt each time the counter reaches the TOP or BOTTOM value.

When changing the TOP value the program must ensure that the new TOP value is higher or equal to the value of all of the Compare Registers. If the TOP value is lower than any of the Compare Registers, a Compare Match will never occur between the TCNT1 and the OCR1x.

As the timing diagram above shows the output generated is, in contrast to the Phase Correct mode, symmetrical in all periods. Since the OCR1x Registers are updated at BOTTOM, the length of the rising and the falling slopes will always be equal. This gives symmetrical output pulses and is therefore frequency correct.

Using the ICR1 Register for defining TOP works well when using fixed TOP values. By using ICR1, the OCR1A Register is free to be used for generating a PWM output on OC1A. However, if the base PWM frequency is actively changed by changing the TOP value, using the OCR1A as TOP is clearly a better choice due to its double buffer feature.

In phase and frequency correct PWM mode, the compare units allow generation of PWM waveforms on the OC1x pins. Setting the COM1x1:0 bits to 2 will produce a non-inverted PWM and an inverted PWM output can be generated by setting the COM1x1:0 to 3. Refer to Table 3. The actual OC1x value will only be visible on the port pin if the data direction for the port pin is set as output (DDR_OC1x). The PWM waveform is generated by setting (or clearing) the OC1x Register at the Compare Match between OCR1x and TCNT1 when the counter increments, and clearing (or setting) the OC1x Register at Compare Match between OCR1x and TCNT1 when the counter decrements. The PWM frequency for the output when using phase and frequency correct PWM can be calculated by the following equation:


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

The extreme values for the OCR1x Register represents special cases when generating a PWM waveform output in the phase correct PWM mode. If the OCR1x is set equal to BOTTOM the output will be continuously low and if set equal to TOP the output will be set to high for non-inverted PWM mode. For inverted PWM the output will have the opposite logic values.

If OCR1A is used to define the TOP value (WGM13:0 = 9) and COM1A1:0 = 1, the OC1A output will toggle with a 50% duty cycle.