What is a Pull-Up Resistor?

Dated:2016-10-06      Popularity:1537


Let’s say you have a microcontroller unit with one pin configured as an input. If there is nothing connected to the pin and your program reads the state of the pin, will it be high or low? It is difficult to tell. This phenomenon is referred to as floating. To prevent this unknown state, a pull-up or pull-down resistor will ensure that the pin is in either a high or low state, while also using a low amount of current.

In electronic logic circuits, a pull-up resistor is a resistor connected between a signal conductor and a positive power supply voltage to ensure that the signal will be a valid logic level if external devices are disconnected or high-impedance is introduced. They may also be used at the interface between two different types of logic devices, possibly operating at different logic levels and power supply voltages.

A pull-up resistor pulls the voltage of the signal it is connected to towards its voltage source level. When the other components associated with the signal are inactive, the voltage supplied by the pull up prevails and brings the signal up to a logical high level. When another component on the line goes active, it overrides the pull-up resistor. The pull-up resistor ensures that the wire is at a defined logic level even if no active devices are connected to it.


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