Treehopper C# API
HardwareSpi Class Reference

Built-in SPI peripheral. More...

Inheritance diagram for HardwareSpi:

Main components

bool Enabled [get, set]
 Enable or disable the SPI module. More...
async Task< byte[]> SendReceiveAsync (byte[] dataToWrite, SpiChipSelectPin chipSelect=null, ChipSelectMode chipSelectMode=ChipSelectMode.SpiActiveLow, double speedMhz=6, SpiBurstMode burstMode=SpiBurstMode.NoBurst, SpiMode spiMode=SpiMode.Mode00)
 Send/receive data More...

Other components

Pin Sck [get]
 Gets the SCK pin of the board More...
Pin Miso [get]
 Gets the MISO pin of the board More...
Pin Mosi [get]
 Gets the MOSI pin of the board More...
override string ToString ()
 Gets a string representing the SPI peripheral's state More...

Detailed Description

Built-in SPI peripheral.

Basic Usage

Once enabled, you can use the hardware SPI module on Treehopper through the SendReceiveAsync() method, which is used to simultaneously transmit and/or receive data.


SPI is a full-duplex synchronous serial interface useful for interfacing with both complex, high-speed peripherals, as well as simple LED drivers, output ports, and any other general-purpose input or output shift register.

Compared to I2, SPI is a simpler protocol, generally much faster, and less popular for modern peripheral ICs.

Basic SPI interfacing


Treehopper supports SPI master mode with the following pins:

  • MISO (Master In, Slave Out): This pin carries data from the slave to the master.
  • MOSI (Master Out, Slave In): This pin carries data from the master to the peripheral
  • SCK (Serial Clock): This pin clocks the data into and out of the master and slave device.

Not all devices use all pins, but the SPI peripheral will always reserve the SCK, MISO, and MOSI pin once the peripheral is enabled, so these pins cannot be used for other functions.

Chip Select

Almost all SPI peripherals also use some sort of chip select (CS) pin, which indicates a valid transaction. Thus, the easiest way to place multiple peripherals on a bus is by using a separate chip select pin for each peripheral (since a peripheral will ignore SPI traffic without a valid chip select signal). Treehopper supports two different chip-select styles:

  • SPI mode: chip-select is asserted at the beginning of a transaction, and de-asserted at the end; and
  • Shift output mode: chip-select is strobed at the end of a transaction
  • Shift input mode: chip-select is strobed at the beginning of a transaction These styles support both active-low and active-high signal polarities.

SPI Mode

SPI does not specify a transaction-level protocol for accessing peripheral functions (unlike, say, SMBus for I2c does); as a result, peripherals that use SPI have wildly different implementations. Even basic aspects – when data is clocked, and the polarity of the clock signal – vary by IC. This property is often called the "SPI mode" of the peripheral; Treehopper supports all four modes:

  • Mode 0 (00): Clock is idle-low. Data is latched in on the clock's rising edge and data is output on the falling edge.
  • Mode 1 (01): Clock is idle-low. Data is latched in on the clock's falling edge and data is output on the rising edge.
  • Mode 2 (10): Clock is idle-high. Data is latched in on the clock's rising edge and data is output on the falling edge.
  • Mode 3 (11): Clock is idle-high. Data is latched in on the clock's falling edge and data is output on the rising edge.

Clock Speed

Treehopper supports SPI clock rates as low as 93.75 kHz and as high as 24 MHz, but we recommend a clock speed of 6 MHz for most cases. You will not notice performance gains above 6 MHz, since this is the fastest rate that Treehopper's MCU can place bytes into the SPI buffer; any faster and the SPI peripheral will have to wait for the CPU before transmitting the next byte.

In the current firmware release, clock rates between 800 kHz and 6 MHz are disallowed. There appears to be a silicon bug in the SPI FIFO that can cause lock-ups with heavy USB traffic. We hope to create a workaround for this issue in future firmware updates.

Burst mode

If you only need to transmit or receive data from the device, Treehopper supports an SpiBurstMode flag, which can improve performance substantially (especially in the case of BurstTx, which eliminates the back-and-forth needed, reducing transaction times down to a few hundred microseconds).

Chaining Devices & Shift Registers

Treehopper's SPI module works well for interfacing with many types of shift registers, which typically have a single output state "register" that is updated whenever new SPI data comes in. Because of the nature of SPI, any existing data in this register is sent to the MISO pin (sometimes labeled "DO" — digital output — or, confusingly, "SO" — serial output). Thus, many shift registers (even of different types) can be chained together by connecting the DO pin of each register to the DI pin of the next:

Many shift registers can share the SPI bus and CS line

Please note that most shift registers refer to their "CS" pin as a "latch enable" (LE) signal.

In the example above, if both of these shift registers were 8-bit, sending the byte array {0xff, 0x03} would send "0xff" to the right register, and "0x03" to the left one.

Treehopper.Libraries has support for many different peripherals you can use with the SPI peripheral, including shift registers. See the Libraries documentation for more details on all the library components. Examples of shift register library components include Treehopper.Libraries.Displays.LedShiftRegister, Treehopper.Libraries.IO.PortExpander.Hc166, Treehopper.Libraries.IO.PortExpander.Hc595.

Further Reading

Wikipedia has an excellent SPI article: Serial Peripheral Interface Bus

Member Function Documentation

◆ SendReceiveAsync()

async Task<byte[]> SendReceiveAsync ( byte []  dataToWrite,
SpiChipSelectPin  chipSelect = null,
ChipSelectMode  chipSelectMode = ChipSelectMode.SpiActiveLow,
double  speedMhz = 6,
SpiBurstMode  burstMode = SpiBurstMode.NoBurst,
SpiMode  spiMode = SpiMode.Mode00 

Send/receive data

dataToWritea byte array of the data to send. The length of the transaction is determined by the length of this array.
chipSelectThe chip select pin, if any, to use during this transaction.
chipSelectModeThe chip select mode to use during this transaction (if a CS pin is selected)
speedMhzThe speed to perform this transaction at.

<param name="burstMode"The burst mode (if any) to use.

spiModeThe SPI mode to use during this transaction.
An awaitable byte array with the received data.

Implements Spi.

◆ ToString()

override string ToString ( )

Gets a string representing the SPI peripheral's state

the state of the SPI peripheral

Property Documentation

◆ Enabled

bool Enabled

Enable or disable the SPI module.

When enabled, the MOSI, MISO, and SCK pins become reserved, and cannot be used for digital or analog operations. When disabled, these pins return to an unassigned state.

◆ Sck

Pin Sck

Gets the SCK pin of the board

◆ Miso

Pin Miso

Gets the MISO pin of the board

◆ Mosi

Pin Mosi

Gets the MOSI pin of the board

The documentation for this class was generated from the following file: