There are different protocols for serial communication between two deceives like, USART, SPI, I2C etc. Before selecting any communication protocol, data transfer rate is an important parameter. SPI transfers data at high speed data. AVR microcontroller contains on chip SPI interface. This article will explore the hardware configuration and programming of SPI.
Serial Peripheral Interface is a synchronous, full-duplex protocol. SPI is also known as “3-wire interface” protocol because it needs 3 communication lines named MISO, MOSI and SCK. SPI protocol needs two devices for communication. One of them is considered as a MASTER and another one as a SLAVE. AVR microcontrollers
contain both MASTER and SLAVE interface on single chip. Thus, a microcontroller
can work as both master and slave device.
Besides the MISO, MOSI and SCK pins, the SS is also included in SPI system. This pin is used to select slave device. Following table explains functionality of these pins:
How SPI works:
The SPI is synchronous data transfer protocol, so clock pulse is needed to synchronize both master and slave device. The clock pulse is generated from master side. The SCK pin of master provides clock pulse to slave device.
To make any device as master, the SS pin must be set as high. If it is configured as an output pin, then it made high using the software. If the SS is considered as input pin, it should make high externally. In slave mode SS is always an input pin, which should be connected to ground (to make it slave device).
The “MOSI” stands for “master output slave input”. So, the MOSI pin works as output pin for master device and input pin for salve device. Both master and slave devices contain a buffer register, called SPDR. Master transfers one bit from its SPDR to slave device in every clock cycle. It means to send one byte data, 8 clock pulses are needed.
Registers of SPI System:
The SPI system consists three register which are described below:
1. SPCR (SPI control register):
SPIE (SPI Interrupt Enable) – To enable SPI interrupt this is set as high.
SPE (SPI Enable) – SPI system is enabled when this bit is set.
DORD (Data Order) – For DORD=1, LSB will be transmitted first.
For DORD=0, MSB will be transmitted first.
MSTR (Master/Slave Select) – For MSTR=1, to select device as master.
For MSTR=0, to select device as slave.
SPR [1:0] (SPI clock Rate) – This SPR [1:0] and SPI2X bit of SPSR register decides frequency of SCK. The combination of these three bits to select SCK frequency are shown in following table: