In the documentation, it shows that the higher frequency that can be reached with an Arduino UNO for and 8bits PWM is using timer0 with the pre-scaler set at 1. That gives a Fs of 62500 Hz, but why is that so?

I understand the Prescaler is dividing the frequency, but why it does start at 62500 Hz and timer1 and timer2 have as maximum 31372 Hz.

1 Answer 1


Timers 1 and 2 are configured by the Arduino core library to run the so called “phase correct PWM” mode. In this mode, the timers count forward from 0 to 255, and then they count backwards to zero. Timer 0 is configured by the same library in “fast PWM” mode, where it counts from 0 to 255 and then overflows back to zero in a single timer cycle.

You can, if you want, configure timers 1 and 2 in fast PWM mode. For doing this, you will have to access their I/O registers directly. C.f. the datasheet of the relevant microcontroller for details.

A couple of links:

  • the datasheet of the ATmega328P microcontroller describes all the possible configurations of the timers (sections 15, 16 and 18 for timer 0, 1 and 2, respectively)
  • the source code of the Arduino init() function to see how Arduino core configures them.

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