Interfacing PIC16F84A with SD card

This topic shows a simple interfacing of 2 GB micro SD card with PIC16F84A microcontroller.
I used the PIC16F84A to read the SD card raw data which doesn’t require a microcontroller with high RAM or ROM. In this interfacing I used software SPI because the PIC16F84A doesn’t have a built-in hardware SPI module.

Interfacing PIC16F84A with SD card
In this example there is no need for file systems (FAT16, FAT32 …) because we’re dealing with raw data which stored in the SD card memory spaces.
CCS IDE serial monitor is used to display the data after reading it and here the UART protocol is used. I used software UART because the PIC16F84A also does not have a UART module.
the link below shows a small PIC16F84A MCU UART example:
Software UART for PIC16F84A microcontroller
In this project I used the MMC/SD card driver for CCS C compiler which is described in the post at the link below:
MMC/SD Card driver for CCS PIC C compiler
The PIC16F84A MCU has only 68 bytes of data RAM which means that it is not possible to load an entire sector of 512 bytes, but we can read many sectors byte by byte.
Hardware Required:

  • PIC16F84A microcontroller
  • 8 MHz crystal
  • 2 x 22pF ceramic capacitors
  • SD Card
  • AMS1117 3.3V voltage regulator
  • 3 x 3.3K ohm resistor
  • 3 x 2.2K ohm resistor
  • 2 x 10K ohm resistor
  • 5 x 10uF polarized capacitor
  • 100nF ceramic capacitor
  • MAX232 chip
  • Female RS232 connector
  • Male-female RS232 cable
  • 5V Power source
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper wires

Interfacing SD card with PIC16F84A MCU circuit:

The AMS1117 3.3V voltage regulator is used to supply the SD card with 3.3V. Also, 3 voltage dividers are used to step down the 5V which comes from the microcontroller to about 3V which is sufficient for the SD card. Each voltage divider consists of 2K2 and 3K3 resistors.
The MISO of the SD card is connected directly to the microcontroller.
MAX232 integrated circuit is used to interface the microcontroller with the PC, I connected just one wire (RB3) because I need to transmit data from the SD card to the microcontroller and then from the microcontroller to the PC, there is no need to connect the second wire because I don’t have to send data from the PC to the microcontroller.
In this project the PIC16F84A MCU runs with 8MHz crystal oscillator.
SD Card raw data read using PIC16F84A CCS C code:
The C code below was tested with CCS PIC C compiler version 5.051.

Interfacing PIC16F84A with SD card schematics
Software SPI is used to interface the MCU with the SD card with 4 data lines: SDI, SDO, SCL and CS.
The code below reads the SD card sector 0, sector size is 512 bytes. To be able to read the whole sector I used the function sdcard_read_byte which allows me to read any byte located in the SD card. For example the function sdcard_read_byte(200, &value); reads the byte of address 200 and saves its data (1 byte) in the variable pointer value.
The functions sdcard_init and sdcard_read_byte return 0 if OK, non-zero if error.
Complete C code is below.

Read more: Interfacing PIC16F84A with SD card 

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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