class Timer – control internal timers

Timers can be used for a great variety of tasks, calling a function periodically, counting events, and generating a PWM signal are among the most common use cases. Each timer consists of two 16-bit channels and this channels can be tied together to form one 32-bit timer. The operating mode needs to be configured per timer, but then the period (or the frequency) can be independently configured on each channel. By using the callback method, the timer event can call a Python function.

Example usage to toggle an LED at a fixed frequency:

from machine import Timer
from machine import Pin
led = Pin('GP16', mode=Pin.OUT)                  # enable GP16 as output to drive the LED
tim = Timer(3)                                   # create a timer object using timer 3
tim.init(mode=Timer.PERIODIC)                    # initialize it in periodic mode
tim_ch =, freq=5)            # configure channel A at a frequency of 5Hz
tim_ch.irq(handler=lambda t:led.toggle(), trigger=Timer.TIMEOUT)        # toggle a LED on every cycle of the timer

Example using named function for the callback:

from machine import Timer
from machine import Pin
tim = Timer(1, mode=Timer.PERIODIC, width=32)
tim_a = | Timer.B, freq=1)   # 1 Hz frequency requires a 32 bit timer

led = Pin('GP16', mode=Pin.OUT) # enable GP16 as output to drive the LED

def tick(timer):                # we will receive the timer object when being called
    global led
    led.toggle()                # toggle the LED

tim_a.irq(handler=tick, trigger=Timer.TIMEOUT)         # create the interrupt

Further examples:

from machine import Timer
tim1 = Timer(1, mode=Timer.ONE_SHOT)                               # initialize it in one shot mode
tim2 = Timer(2, mode=Timer.PWM)                                    # initialize it in PWM mode
tim1_ch =, freq=10, polarity=Timer.POSITIVE)  # start the event counter with a frequency of 10Hz and triggered by positive edges
tim2_ch =, freq=10000, duty_cycle=5000)       # start the PWM on channel B with a 50% duty cycle
tim2_ch.freq(20)                                                   # set the frequency (can also get)
tim2_ch.duty_cycle(3010)                                           # set the duty cycle to 30.1% (can also get)
tim2_ch.duty_cycle(3020, Timer.NEGATIVE)                           # set the duty cycle to 30.2% and change the polarity to negative
tim2_ch.period(2000000)                                            # change the period to 2 seconds


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.


class machine.Timer(id, ...)

Construct a new timer object of the given id. id can take values from 0 to 3.


Timer.init(mode, *, width=16)

Initialise the timer. Example:

tim.init(Timer.PERIODIC)             # periodic 16-bit timer
tim.init(Timer.ONE_SHOT, width=32)   # one shot 32-bit timer

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.
    • Timer.PWM - Output a PWM signal on a pin.
  • width must be either 16 or 32 (bits). For really low frequencies < 5Hz (or large periods), 32-bit timers should be used. 32-bit mode is only available for ONE_SHOT AND PERIODIC modes.

Deinitialises the timer. Disables all channels and associated IRQs. Stops the timer, and disables the timer peripheral., **, freq, period, polarity=Timer.POSITIVE, duty_cycle=0)

If only a channel identifier passed, then a previously initialized channel object is returned (or None if there is no previous channel).

Otherwise, a TimerChannel object is initialized and returned.

The operating mode is is the one configured to the Timer object that was used to create the channel.

  • channel if the width of the timer is 16-bit, then must be either TIMER.A, TIMER.B. If the width is 32-bit then it must be TIMER.A | TIMER.B.

Keyword only arguments:

  • freq sets the frequency in Hz.
  • period sets the period in microseconds.


Either freq or period must be given, never both.

  • polarity this is applicable for PWM, and defines the polarity of the duty cycle
  • duty_cycle only applicable to PWM. It’s a percentage (0.00-100.00). Since the WiPy doesn’t support floating point numbers the duty cycle must be specified in the range 0-10000, where 10000 would represent 100.00, 5050 represents 50.50, and so on.


When the channel is in PWM mode, the corresponding pin is assigned automatically, therefore there’s no need to assign the alternate function of the pin via the Pin class. The pins which support PWM functionality are the following:

  • GP24 on Timer 0 channel A.
  • GP25 on Timer 1 channel A.
  • GP9 on Timer 2 channel B.
  • GP10 on Timer 3 channel A.
  • GP11 on Timer 3 channel B.

class TimerChannel — setup a channel for a timer

Timer channels are used to generate/capture a signal using a timer.

TimerChannel objects are created using the method.


timerchannel.irq(*, trigger, priority=1, handler=None)

The behavior of this callback is heavily dependent on the operating mode of the timer channel:

  • If mode is Timer.PERIODIC the callback is executed periodically with the configured frequency or period.
  • If mode is Timer.ONE_SHOT the callback is executed once when the configured timer expires.
  • If mode is Timer.PWM the callback is executed when reaching the duty cycle value.

The accepted params are:

  • priority level of the interrupt. Can take values in the range 1-7. Higher values represent higher priorities.
  • handler is an optional function to be called when the interrupt is triggered.
  • trigger must be Timer.TIMEOUT when the operating mode is either Timer.PERIODIC or Timer.ONE_SHOT. In the case that mode is Timer.PWM then trigger must be equal to Timer.MATCH.

Returns a callback object.


Get or set the timer channel frequency (in Hz).


Get or set the timer channel period (in microseconds).


Get or set the duty cycle of the PWM signal. It’s a percentage (0.00-100.00). Since the WiPy doesn’t support floating point numbers the duty cycle must be specified in the range 0-10000, where 10000 would represent 100.00, 5050 represents 50.50, and so on.



Selects the timer operating mode.


Selects the timer channel. Must be ORed (Timer.A | Timer.B) when using a 32-bit timer.


Timer channel polarity selection (only relevant in PWM mode).


Timer channel IRQ triggers.