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class Timer – control hardware timers

Hardware timers deal with timing of periods and events. Timers are perhaps the most flexible and heterogeneous kind of hardware in MCUs and SoCs, differently greatly from a model to a model. MicroPython’s Timer class defines a baseline operation of executing a callback with a given period (or once after some delay), and allow specific boards to define more non-standard behaviour (which thus won’t be portable to other boards).

See discussion of important constraints on Timer callbacks.


Memory can’t be allocated inside irq handlers (an interrupt) and so exceptions raised within a handler don’t give much information. See micropython.alloc_emergency_exception_buf() for how to get around this limitation.

If you are using a WiPy board please refer to machine.TimerWiPy instead of this class.


class machine.Timer(id, /, ...)

Construct a new timer object of the given id. id of -1 constructs a virtual timer (if supported by a board). id shall not be passed as a keyword argument.

See init for parameters of initialisation.


Timer.init(*, mode=Timer.PERIODIC, freq=-1, period=-1, callback=None)

Initialise the timer. Example:

def mycallback(t):

# periodic at 1kHz
tim.init(mode=Timer.PERIODIC, freq=1000, callback=mycallback)

# periodic with 100ms period
tim.init(period=100, callback=mycallback)

# one shot firing after 1000ms
tim.init(mode=Timer.ONE_SHOT, period=1000, callback=mycallback)

Keyword arguments:

  • mode can be one of:

    • Timer.ONE_SHOT - The timer runs once until the configured period of the channel expires.

    • Timer.PERIODIC - The timer runs periodically at the configured frequency of the channel.

  • freq - The timer frequency, in units of Hz. The upper bound of the frequency is dependent on the port. When both the freq and period arguments are given, freq has a higher priority and period is ignored.

  • period - The timer period, in milliseconds.

  • callback - The callable to call upon expiration of the timer period. The callback must take one argument, which is passed the Timer object. The callback argument shall be specified. Otherwise an exception will occur upon timer expiration: TypeError: 'NoneType' object isn't callable


Deinitialises the timer. Stops the timer, and disables the timer peripheral.



Timer operating mode.