Implementation Of PSI-5 Serial Sensor Interface On ADwin Real-Time Data Acquisition Systems

CHESTERLAND OH—August 3, 2011

The PSI-5 communications interface is a 2 wire serial communications interface which is used to interface sensors to Electronic Control Units (ECU) in applications such as accelerometers for airbag systems. Promoted by major auto suppliers such as Bosch and Continental, the PSI-5 interface has been in use for more than 10 years and has shown itself to be both robust and reliable. Figure 1 shows the PSI-5 telegram definition.

Figure 1: PSI-5 Telegram Definition

To minimize the number of wires going to the sensor, the physical layer of PSI-5 is implemented as a 2 wire interface that carries both the signal and power. The sensor data is sent as a series of current pulses which ride on top of the normal sensor supply current. This allows the interface to communicate at up to 250K bits/second and also provides EMC compatibility for conducted and radiated emissions. The standard data packet consists of 13 bits: 10 bits of data, 2 start bits and a parity bit (see figure 1). The data is encoded using a Manchester coding scheme where a 0 corresponds to a rising edge in the middle of the bit transition time and a 1 by a falling edge in the middle of the bit. Typically a dedicated receiver IC is used to read current signal and extract the data.

A pressure sensor manufacturer was looking for a system to simultaneously test multiple sensors using this interface. Rather than try to build a custom solution around the dedicated interface chips, they were looking for an off-the-shelf data acquisition solution that could be programmed to read the raw signal and extract the data. For this project, an ADwin-Light-16 Real-Time Data Acquisition System was selected. A simple comparator circuit was used to convert the current signal to a digital waveform that could be read with standard TTL logic. The ADwin system featured 6 high speed digital inputs allowing up to 6 sensors to be read at the same time. For each digital input, a simple state machine was implemented in software to monitor the incoming data, look for the start bits, read and decode the data.

Figure 2 shows the state machine to read one input. The minimum bit time corresponding to a 0 was 40 useconds; therefore, to allow for small variations in the timing, the state machine was setup to read the inputs at 8 times the expected clock rate, or 5 useconds. A watchdog timer was also provided to allow the state machine to reset in the case of a partial or corrupted transmission. Figure 3 lists the ADBasic code for the state machine to read one sensor. For testing, a second ADwin system was configured to generate various data packets to verify that they could be read correctly.

For this project, it was quite straightforward to create a simple state machine using the CASE structure available in the ADBasic programming environment. The deterministic, real-time capability of the ADwin system allowed the data to be read reliably without the need for specialized receiver IC’s, and the flexibility of the software enabled the different scenarios and failures mechanisms to be tested quickly and easily.

Figure 2: State Machine to Read PSI-5 Data

Figure 3: ADBasic Code For The State Machine to Read One Sensor

newbit = digin(0)AND 01B
inc counter
CASE 1 ‘ wait for high to indicate start of transmission
if (newbit = 01b) then
startcnt = startcnt+1
IF (startcnt > 10) then ‘ need to get >50 usec high to start
state = 2
CASE 2 ‘ waiting for low start bit
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘first low is start of word
state = 3
numbits = 0
bit_val = 01b
numUnusedbits = 0
counter = 1
fall_time = counter
CASE 3 ‘waiting for low to high transition to mark bit
if (newbit = 01b) then
rise_time = counter
if ((rise_time – fall_time) > 8 ) then ‘ > 40 usec = 1
data_1[i]= data_1[i] + 1 * bit_val
data_1[i]= data_1[i] + 0 * bit_val ‘ < 40 usec = 0 endif numbits = numbits + 1 bit_val = bit_val * 2 if (numbits > 12) then
state = 5
par_2 = Data_1[i]
fpar_1 = Data_1[i]*2.0
state = 4
CASE 4 ‘waiting for high to low transition to start next bit
if (newbit = 00b) then
fall_time = counter
state = 3
case 5 ‘ 3 unused bits
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘ start of unused bit
state = 6
case 6
if (newbit = 01b) then ‘ end of unused bit
numUnusedBits = numUnusedBits+1
if (numUnusedbits > 1) then
state = 7
state = 5
case 7
if (newbit = 00b) then ‘ start of error flag
fall_time = counter
state = 8
case 8 ‘ read error flag
if (newbit = 01b) then
rise_time = counter
if ((rise_time – fall_time) > 8 ) then ‘>60 usec = 1
errorflag = 1
errorflag = 0
state = 9
par_3 = errorflag
case 9
IF (counter > 1000) Then
state = 1
counter = 0
IF (counter > 1000) Then
state = 1
counter = 0
par_1 = counter

For further information on ADwin real-time data acquisition and control systems, other data acquisition system product lines, or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact a CAS Data Logger Applications Analyst at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at

Contact Information:
CAS DataLoggers, Inc.
12628 Chillicothe Road
Chesterland, Ohio 44026
(440) 729-2570
(800) 956-4437

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MULTI-FUNCTION I/O CARD with A/D, D/A, Counters, SSI and EtherCAT

Multi I/O module for ADwin-Pro-II systems

Multi I/O card for ADwin-Pro-II Systems

The multi I/O modules for ADwin-Pro II are autonomous multi-function cards for any type of signals: The module combines the fast reacting local TiCo processor with analog and digital I/Os. With this capability, the intelligent slide-in card can react independently to measurement values and events as well as offload the main processor. For examples such as performing as fast closed-loop controller, digital filter for analog signals, function generator or intelligent limit monitor.

There are even more possibilities using the extended version, with counter inputs, SSI decoder or EtherCAT interface.


  • TiCo Processor
  • 128 kB Internal Memory
  • 4 MB External SRAM
  • 37-pole Sub-D Plug

Analog inputs

  • 8 Differential or 16 Single-Ended Channels
  • ADC Resolution 18 Bit; Conversion Time 2 µs
  • Multiplexer Settling Time 2 µs

Analog outputs

  • 4 Channels
  • DAC Resolution 16 Bit
  • Settling Time 9 µs

Digital channels

  • 8 Channels with TTL Logic
  • Configurable as Inputs or Outputs in Groups of 4

Optional MIO-4-ET1 Expansion (Order Time Option)

  • 4 Transistor Outputs
  • 4 Optically Isolated Inputs
  • (1) Counter Block with (2) 32 Bit Counters (a forward/backward counter and a counter for PWM analysis)
  • 1 SSI Decoder
  • 1 EtherCAT Interface (slave)

The ADwin multi-function I/O card and provides a capable method of handling demanding real-time processing or control applications. It increases the power of ADwin systems by localizing processing on the input card and freeing up the main processor for higher level activities.

For complete solutions for complex real-time processing and control applications, contact CAS DataLogger’s Solution Analysts for application specific designs. Pricing based on individual application needs and required results.