In this Blog entry I will demonstrate how to access the single hardware pulse width modulation (PWM) channel available on the Raspberry Pi. The BCM2835 SOC on the Raspberry Pi has two PWM peripherals; PWM1 & PWM2. Only the PWM1 peripheral can be mapped onto a GPIO pin (GPIO18) available on the RPi’s 26-pin header. It’s important to note that both the PWM1 & PWM2 peripherals are used by Raspbian to generate audio, so make sure that the RPI is not generating audio while accessing the PWM peripherals. Since Raspbian/ Linux already assigns the PWM peripherals for audio generation, there’s strictly no direct ‘proper’ way to access the PWM1 peripheral from userspace without accessing the hardware registers directly by ‘mmaping into /dev/mem’.
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