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Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter (UFDC-1)

This project has been supported by IFSA


The Universal Frequency-to-Digital Converter (UFDC-1) is a universal 2-channel high precision multifunctional converter based on novel frequency-time conversion methods. It is perfectly suited to any applications where frequency-time parameters but also sensors output signal, have to be measured with highest resolution and programmable accuracy during the non-redundant conversion time and self-adaptive possibilities. The UFDC-1 covers all specified converted range of frequencies and accuracy for modern frequency-time domain sensors.


The UFDC-1 is a complex fully digital CMOS integrated circuit (IC). By using this IC it is possible to build a wide variety of digital, smart sensors and intelligent sensor systems. The device achieves a high-resolution conversion for data acquisition systems designed to support all range of frequency-time domain and digital sensor applications. It offers high performance with flexibility and requires a minimum of external components. It  can be easy included into digital environment, controlled by an external microcontroller or work independently as a separate measuring unit without an external control. The function selection can be configured in both software and hardware. The IC converts frequency-time domain signals into digital domain and provides interface to microcontroller, DAQ or sensor system to read these digital results.

The UFDC-1 can measure the following frequency-time parameters of signals:

  • Frequency, fx1 0.05 Hz – 7.5 MHz directly and up to 120 MHz with prescaling

  • Period, Tx1 150 ns – 20 s

  • Phase shift, 0 - 3600 at fxmax = 500 kHz at 50 % duty-cycle

  • Time interval between start – and stop-pulse, tx 2΅s – 250 s

  • Duty-cycle, D.C. 0 – 1 at fxmax < 500 kHz for 40-60 % duty-cycle

  • Duty-off factor, Q 10-8 – 8.106 at fxmax < 500 kHz

  • Frequency difference, fx1 – fx2 with sign recognition, 0 – 7.5 MHz

  • Period difference, Tx1 – Tx2 with sign recognition, 0 – 20 s

  • Frequency ratio, fx1/fx2 7 .10-9 – 1.4 . 108

  • Period ratio, Tx1/Tx2 7.5 . 10-9 – 1.33 . 108

  • Rotation speed, nx = (fx . 60)/Z, where Z is the number of modulation rotor gradations

  • Pulse width, tp 2΅s – 250 s

  • Space interval, ts 2΅s – 250 s

  • Pulse number (events) counting, Nx 0 – 4.109

The UFDC-1 can also work with voltage and current output sensors. It this case, any voltage–to-frequency converter (VFC) can be used. The accuracy of such system will be determined by sensor accuracy as well as by VFC accuracy. 



  • 16 measuring modes

  • Provides interfacing for many types of frequency-time domain sensors and transducers

  • Frequency range from 0.05 Hz up to 7.5 MHz (at 40-50 % duty-cycle for fxmax) without prescaling and 120 MHz with prescaling

  • Programmable accuracy (relative error) for frequency (period) conversion from 1 % up to 0.001 % for rectangular waveform input pulse signals

  • Relative quantization error is constant in all specified frequency range

  • Non-redundant conversion time

  • Internal reference clock 500 kHz, 16 MHz @ 16MHz quartz oscillator

  • Quartz-accurate automated calibration 

  • Simple 3-wire serial interface (SPI compatible)

  • 2-wire interface (I2C compatible)

  • Two direction RS-232/485 serial interface

  • Master and slave communication modes for RS-232/485

  • Frequency generator mode fosc/2 = 16 MHz / 2 = 8 MHz with quartz crystal stability

  • Single power supply 4.5 – 5.5 V

  • Current consumption at 16 MHz, 5V, 25 0C below 20 mA

  • Operating temperature range (- 40 0C to + 85 0C)

  • Package Type: 28-lead Plastic Dual Inline Package (PDIP) and compact 32-lead TQFP (on request)


Potential market applications: Measuring and Sensor Instrumentation, Automotive Industry


Collaboration sought: Financial support; Licence agreement, Joint venture agreement, Dealers and distributors agreements, Marketing agreement; Manufacturing agreement, Other


Prof., Dr., Nikolay V. KIRIANAKI

IFSA President,

Tel.: +380 322 762971

Fax: +380 322 971641

E-mail: ifsa@sensorsportal.com



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