Intermediate
30 min
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Harness the power of our captivating random number generator with ADS1115 and PIC18F25K42

Random wonders: Numbers beyond predictions!

RNG Click with EasyPIC v7a

Published Dec 29, 2023

Click board™

RNG Click

Development board

EasyPIC v7a

Compiler

NECTO Studio

MCU

PIC18F25K42

Enhance your decision-making processes by integrating our innovative random number generator into your applications, ensuring selection fairness and eliminating biases

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Hardware Overview

How does it work?

RNG Click is a random number generator (RNG) based on the ADS1115, 16-bit, I2C-compatible, analog-to-digital converter from Texas Instruments that generates a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be reasonably predicted better than by a random chance. In computing, a hardware random number generator (HRNG) or true random number generator (TRNG) is a device that generates random numbers from a physical process rather than using an algorithm. Such devices are often based on microscopic phenomena that generate low-level, statistically random "noise" signals, as in this Click board™. That process is, in theory, completely unpredictable, and the theory's assertions of unpredictability are subject to experimental tests. This is in contrast to the paradigm of pseudo-random number generation, which is commonly implemented by the

software. The heart of the RNG click is the avalanche noise generated from an internal diode of the transistor Q1 (BC846B). Avalanche breakdown is a phenomenon that can occur in both insulating and semiconducting materials. It is a form of electric current multiplication that can allow large currents within materials that are otherwise good insulators. The avalanche occurs when the electric field accelerates carriers in the transition region to energies sufficient to create mobile or free electron-hole pairs via collisions with bound electrons. To achieve that, RNG Click also has a boost converter onboard, based on TPS61041 from Texas Instruments, and creates the +18V power supply for the job. The noise signal, created by the transistors Q1 and Q2, is then amplified with Q3, voltage-limited using the Zener diode, and digitalized using the NC7S14M5X inverter. After that, the string of random ones and

zeros is achieved, which is brought to the ADS1115 - 16BIT sigma-delta ADC from Texas Instruments. The potentiometer P1 is used to set the distribution of ones and zeros as near as possible, which is indicated by the LD2 and LD3 LED diodes. The potentiometer P1 should be set to illuminate the LD2 and LD3 diodes equally. That way, when the single-shot measurement is performed using the ADS1115 over the I2C protocol, the true, 16-bit random number is obtained. This Click board™ can be operated only with a 3.3V logic voltage level. The board must perform appropriate logic voltage level conversion before using MCUs with different logic levels. Also, it comes equipped with a library containing functions and an example code that can be used, as a reference, for further development.

RNG Click hardware overview image

Features overview

Development board

EasyPIC v7a is the seventh generation of PIC development boards specially designed for the needs of rapid development of embedded applications. It supports a wide range of 8-bit PIC microcontrollers from Microchip and has a broad set of unique functions, such as the first-ever embedded debugger/programmer over USB-C. The development board is well organized and designed so that the end-user has all the necessary elements in one place, such as switches, buttons, indicators, connectors, and others. With four different connectors for each port, EasyPIC v7a allows you to connect accessory boards, sensors, and custom electronics more efficiently than ever. Each part of the EasyPIC v7a development board

contains the components necessary for the most efficient operation of the same board. In addition to the advanced integrated CODEGRIP programmer/debugger module, which offers many valuable programming/debugging options and seamless integration with the Mikroe software environment, the board also includes a clean and regulated power supply module for the development board. It can use various external power sources, including an external 12V power supply, 7-23V AC or 9-32V DC via DC connector/screw terminals, and a power source via the USB Type-C (USB-C) connector. Communication options such as USB-UART and RS-232 are also included, alongside the well-

established mikroBUS™ standard, three display options (7-segment, graphical, and character-based LCD), and several different DIP sockets. These sockets cover a wide range of 8-bit PIC MCUs, from PIC10F, PIC12F, PIC16F, PIC16Enh, PIC18F, PIC18FJ, and PIC18FK families. EasyPIC v7a is an integral part of the Mikroe ecosystem for rapid development. Natively supported by Mikroe software tools, it covers many aspects of prototyping and development thanks to a considerable number of different Click boards™ (over a thousand boards), the number of which is growing every day.

EasyPIC v7a double side image

Microcontroller Overview

MCU Card / MCU

default

Architecture

PIC

MCU Memory (KB)

32

Silicon Vendor

Microchip

Pin count

28

RAM (Bytes)

2048

Used MCU Pins

mikroBUS™ mapper

NC
NC
AN
NC
NC
RST
NC
NC
CS
NC
NC
SCK
NC
NC
MISO
NC
NC
MOSI
Power Supply
3.3V
3.3V
Ground
GND
GND
NC
NC
PWM
Interrupt
RB1
INT
NC
NC
TX
NC
NC
RX
I2C Clock
RC3
SCL
I2C Data
RC4
SDA
NC
NC
5V
Ground
GND
GND
2

Take a closer look

Schematic

RNG Click Schematic schematic

Step by step

Project assembly

EasyPIC v7a front image hardware assembly

Start by selecting your development board and Click board™. Begin with the EasyPIC v7a as your development board.

EasyPIC v7a front image hardware assembly
Rotary B 2 Click front image hardware assembly
MCU DIP 28 hardware assembly
EasyPIC v7a MB 2 - upright/background hardware assembly
Necto image step 2 hardware assembly
Necto image step 3 hardware assembly
Necto image step 4 hardware assembly
NECTO Compiler Selection Step Image hardware assembly
NECTO Output Selection Step Image hardware assembly
Necto image step 6 hardware assembly
Necto DIP image step 7 hardware assembly
EasyPIC PRO v7a Display Selection Necto Step hardware assembly
Necto image step 9 hardware assembly
Necto image step 10 hardware assembly
Necto PreFlash Image hardware assembly

Track your results in real time

Application Output

After pressing the "FLASH" button on the left-side panel, it is necessary to open the UART terminal to display the achieved results. By clicking on the Tools icon in the right-hand panel, multiple different functions are displayed, among which is the UART Terminal. Click on the offered "UART Terminal" icon.

UART Application Output Step 1

Once the UART terminal is opened, the window takes on a new form. At the top of the tab are two buttons, one for adjusting the parameters of the UART terminal and the other for connecting the UART terminal. The tab's lower part is reserved for displaying the achieved results. Before connecting, the terminal has a Disconnected status, indicating that the terminal is not yet active. Before connecting, it is necessary to check the set parameters of the UART terminal. Click on the "OPTIONS" button.

UART Application Output Step 2

In the newly opened UART Terminal Options field, we check if the terminal settings are correct, such as the set port and the Baud rate of UART communication. If the data is not displayed properly, it is possible that the Baud rate value is not set correctly and needs to be adjusted to 115200. If all the parameters are set correctly, click on "CONFIGURE".

UART Application Output Step 3

The next step is to click on the "CONNECT" button, after which the terminal status changes from Disconnected to Connected in green, and the data is displayed in the Received data field.

UART Application Output Step 4

Software Support

Library Description

This library contains API for RNG Click driver.

Key functions:

  • rng_get_voltage - This function gets voltage in millivolts

  • rng_set_config - This function sets configuration

  • rng_set_vref - This function sets desired vref.

Open Source

Code example

This example can be found in NECTO Studio. Feel free to download the code, or you can copy the code below.

/*!
 * \file 
 * \brief Rng Click example
 * 
 * # Description
 * This click is a random number generator. The device contain potentiometer which control voltage
 * so it generates a sequence of numbers or symbols that cannot be reasonably predicted better 
 * by a random chance. Random number generators have applications in gambling, statistical sampling,
 * computer simulation, cryptography, completely randomized design, and various other areas. 
 *
 * The demo application is composed of two sections :
 * 
 * ## Application Init 
 * Initializes driver, then sets configuration and voltage reference.
 * 
 * ## Application Task  
 * It reads ADC value from AIN0 channel then converts it to voltage and 
 * displays the result on USB UART each second.
 * 
 * \author MikroE Team
 *
 */
// ------------------------------------------------------------------- INCLUDES

#include "board.h"
#include "log.h"
#include "rng.h"

// ------------------------------------------------------------------ VARIABLES

static rng_t rng;
static log_t logger;

// ------------------------------------------------------ APPLICATION FUNCTIONS

void application_init ( void )
{
    log_cfg_t log_cfg;
    rng_cfg_t cfg;

    /** 
     * Logger initialization.
     * Default baud rate: 115200
     * Default log level: LOG_LEVEL_DEBUG
     * @note If USB_UART_RX and USB_UART_TX 
     * are defined as HAL_PIN_NC, you will 
     * need to define them manually for log to work. 
     * See @b LOG_MAP_USB_UART macro definition for detailed explanation.
     */
    LOG_MAP_USB_UART( log_cfg );
    log_init( &logger, &log_cfg );
    log_info( &logger, "---- Application Init ----" );

    //  Click initialization.

    rng_cfg_setup( &cfg );
    RNG_MAP_MIKROBUS( cfg, MIKROBUS_1 );
    rng_init( &rng, &cfg );

    rng_default_cfg( &rng );
}

void application_task ( void )
{
    float voltage;

    voltage = rng_get_voltage( &rng );

    log_printf( &logger, "Voltage from AIN0: %.2f mV\r\n", voltage );
    log_printf( &logger, "-----------------------\r\n" );
    Delay_ms( 1000 );
}

void main ( void )
{
    application_init( );

    for ( ; ; )
    {
        application_task( );
    }
}


// ------------------------------------------------------------------------ END

Additional Support

Resources