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Monday, October 20, 2014

DS18B20 12 Bit Resolution - What does that mean

DS18B20 Resolution

The following is from figure 2 of the Maxim Integrated data sheet: "DS18B20 Programmable Resolution 1-Wire Digital Thermometer"
When the data sheet talks about 12 bit resolution, what do they mean? From the figure above, you can see that two 8 bit bytes are reserved for the temperature measurement. That means there are a total of 16 bits. But, notice there are only 12 unique bits. Bits 11 to 15, of the most significant byte (MS Byte), will always be the same. If one bit is a "1", all 5 bits will be a "1". If one bit is a "0", all 5 bits will be a "0". That is where the 12 comes from: 12 unique bits.
How is that number related to resolution? Of those 12 bits, eight are reserved for the integer part of the number: bit 4 to bit 11. Bit 0, bit 1, bit 2, and bit 3 make up the fractional component. You can choose to have the DS18B20 measure with 9, 10, 11, or 12 bit resolution. If you choose 12 bits, all 12 bits are used in the calculation of temperature. If you choose 11 bits, the least significant bit will always be a 0. If you choose 10 bits, the last two bits will always be zero. If you choose nine bits, the last three bits will always be zero giving you only one fractional bit of resolution.
With nine bits, the least significant bit is bit 3. The value of bit 3 (from the figure above) is 2-1. That is the equivalent to 12 or 0.5. So, nine bits gives you a resolution of 0.5°C.. If you choose 12 bit resolution, the least significant bit has a value of 2-4. That gives you a resolution of 116 or 0.0625. So, 12 bits gives you a resolution of 0.0625°C..
Why would you want to choose anything other than 12 bit resolution? Why not always choose the best? The answer is speed. When asked for a temperature conversion, the DS18B20 takes multiple measurements and averages them before reporting the result. The higher the resolution, the larger the number of measurements go into the average, and the longer time to complete the conversion. The maximum conversion time for 12 bit resolution is eight times the maximum time for nine bit resolution. Here is a chart of resolution in bits, degrees, and maximum conversion time:
Number of Bits Resolution Maximum Conversion Time, ms.
9 0.5000°C 93.75
10 0.2500°C 187.5
11 0.1250°C 375
12 0.0625°C 750

Deriving Temperature From the Register Data - Temperatures below 0°C

The following is Figure 1 from the Maxim data sheet:
I hope it is clear how the decimal value of temperature relates to the binary digital output column when the temperatures are in the positive range. It might not be as clear when the temperatures are negative. Those binary numbers are really signed binary numbers. This means that the most significant bit, bit 11, or in this case, bits 11 through bit 15 (since these five bits are always the same), tell you if the number is positive or negative. If those bits are all "0"'s the number is positive. If those bits are all "1"'s the number is negative. However, that is only half the story. You might think that if +25.0625 is 0000 0001 1001 0001 then -25.0625 could be 1111 1001 1001 0001. But you see from the figure above that is not the case.
As small as the DS18B20 is, it has to have some computing power. Therefore, it shares characteristics with your microprocessor or microcontroller device. These devices all have some electronic circuitry that perform basic functions. One such function is to add binary numbers. Another is to change all the "1"'s to "0"'s and all the "0"'s to "1"'s. That operation is called inverting. A function that is not commonly implemented is circuitry to perform subtraction. That is because it is possible to subtract by using the two circuits I described, adding and inverting.
How would you subtract 13 from 25 without actually performing subtraction. Let's assume we were working with 8 bit signed binary numbers. 25 is 0001 1001. 13 is 0000 1101. Subtracting 13 from 25 is the same as adding -13 to +25. In order to facilitate the subtraction process, devices like the DS18B20 (because they must do some computing) represent negative numbers by what is called the two's complement of the number. The two's complement is formed by using the aforementioned processes, adding and inverting. First we invert then we add 1.
Let's get the two's complement of -13. First, we invert the 0000 1101 to get 1111 0010. Next, we add 1 yielding 1111 0011. When we add that to 0001 1001 (25) we get 1 0000 1100. Since we are using 8 bit signed binary numbers, that lonely "1" on the left gets lost giving us our final result of 0000 1100 which is decimal 12. This is how the DS18B20 represents the binary (and hex) temperatures that are below 0°C: by their two's complement. Let's prove it. If +25.0625 is 0000 0001 1001 0001. What is -25,0625 in two's complement? Let's invert 0000 0001 1001 0001 to 1111 1110 0110 1110 and add 1. This gives us 1111 1110 0110 1111, which is what is shown in the figure above.
If you want more information on two's complement, including some theory, I recommend this site.

Calculating Temperature From DS18B20 Register Values

When you get the results from the DS18B20, two bytes from the scratchpad, how do you convert them to temperature? Without getting theoretical, this is what I do:
  1. Multiply the value of the most significant byte (scratchpad byte 1) of the temperature data by 256.
  2. Add to the result of step 1, the the value of the least significant byte (scratchpad byte 0).
  3. Check to see if the temperature is negative by testing if the result from step 2 is over 127. If so the temperature is negative.
  4. If the temperature is negative, subtract the result of step 2 from 65536.
  5. Divide by 16

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