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Duty Cycle

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    Last Modified: February 16, 2016

    The duty cycle is a characteristic of a pulse. Use the following equation to calculate the duty cycle of a pulse whose high time and low time are unequal:

    • Duty Cycle = High Time/Pulse Period

    where Pulse Period is high time plus low time.

    The duty cycle of a pulse is between 0 and 1 and is often expressed as a percentage. Refer to the following figure for examples of duty cycles. A pulse with a high time equal to the low time has a duty cycle of 0.5, or 50%. A duty cycle less than 50% indicates that the low time is greater than the high time, and a duty cycle greater than 50% indicates that the high time is greater than the low time.


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