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Timer Preload and Shadow registers

Question asked by jo.farmer on Jun 28, 2012
Latest reply on Jun 28, 2012 by Clive One

I am trying to get a better understanding of the timer hardware for the advance control timers. In section 14.3.1 of RM0008 (Rev. 14) it states:-

"The auto-reload register is preloaded.Writing to it or reading from the auto-reload register accesses the preload register. The content of the preload register are transferred into the shadow register permanently or ......"

Neither the 'preload' register or 'shadow register' appears on the block diagram but are referenced quite frequently in the document, so I have the following questions.

(a)    Why is there a need for the preload register?

(b)    Why is there a need for the shadow register? For each timer is there just a single shadow register?