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Configuring the 555 timer in a programmable device

Feature

By Mujammil Ali A S, firmware development consultant at Upwork

Some would say that the 555 is the most popular integrated circuit ever manufactured, found in all applications where generating accurate time delays and oscillations are necessary.

Depending on the manufacturer, the standard 555 package includes 25 transistors, two diodes and 15 resistors on a silicon chip inside an 8-pin dual in-line package (DIP-8). Although widely important and useful, the 555 timer IC is also needed in wearable and portable electronics, but, clearly, at a much reduced size.

There are ICs that replicate the behaviour of a monostable, astable or bistable 555 timer yet do so with a reduced component count and in smaller packages. The SLG46110V IC implemented in Dialog Semiconductor’s GreenPak has most of the necessary parts, including two analogue comparators, an open-drain configurable output pin, and LUTs, making it a suitable alternative to the 555 timer IC. GreenPAK is a cost-effective non-volatile memory (NVM) programmable device that offers different system functions through configuration yet at reduced component count, smaller board space and lower power consumption.

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