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Counter ICs

A counter IC (integrated circuit) are electronic devices that are designed for counting externally input clock pulses.

How does a counter IC work?

This IC operates by reading the counter data output via the I2C-bus serial interface from a microcontroller or another system. It has a configuration of a 24-bit binary-up counter and can count from 0 to 24 bit and also operates at a ultra-low current consumption in comparison to that of a event counter in a microcontroller.

Types of Counter ICs

Counter ICs have a range of different types of configurations such as;

Shift registers - Shift registers are a sequential logic device made up of a cascade of flip-flops, through which a sequence of bits are ’shifted’. These devices are commonly used to convert between serial and parallel interfaces.

Clock Generator - Clock Generators produces a clock signal for use in synchronizing a circuit's operation.

Dividers - Dividers also known as clock dividers provide an output clock signal that is a divided frequency of the input.

There are also various types of counter types such as BCD, Binary, Decade, Divide by N and Octal.

Applications of Counter ICs

Counter ICs are widely used in an array of applications such as;

  • Frequency counters
  • Digital clocks
  • ADCs (Analog to digital converters)
  • Time measurement


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