TL16C550C Single UART with 16-Byte FIFOs and Auto Flow Control |

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Single UART with 16-Byte FIFOs and Auto Flow Control


Recommended alternative parts

  • TL16C550D  -  This device has the SAME FUNCTIONALITY/PINOUT as the TL16C550C but with enhanced features: higher max data rate, 1.5Mbps & extended supply range, 2.5V to 5.0V.


The TL16C550C and the TL16C550CI are functional upgrades of the TL16C550B asynchronous communications element (ACE), which in turn is a functional upgrade of the TL16C450. Functionally equivalent to the TL16C450 on power up (character or TL16C450 mode), the TL16C550C and the TL16C550CI, like the TL16C550B, can be placed in an alternate FIFO mode. This relieves the CPU of excessive software overhead by buffering received and transmitted characters. The receiver and transmitter FIFOs store up to 16 bytes including three additional bits of error status per byte for the receiver FIFO. In the FIFO mode, there is a selectable autoflow control feature that can significantly reduce software overload and increase system efficiency by automatically controlling serial data flow using RTS\ output and CTS\ input signals.

The TL16C550C and TL16C550CI perform serial-to-parallel conversions on data received from a peripheral device or modem and parallel-to-serial conversion on data received from its CPU. The CPU can read the ACE status at any time. The ACE includes complete modem control capability and a processor interrupt system that can be tailored to minimize software management of the communications link.

Both the TL16C550C and the TL16C550CI ACE include a programmable baud rate generator capable of dividing a reference clock by divisors from 1 to 65535 and producing a 16× reference clock for the internal transmitter logic. Provisions are included to use this 16× clock for the receiver logic. The ACE accommodates a 1-Mbaud serial rate (16-MHz input clock) so that a bit time is 1 µs and a typical character time is 10 µs (start bit, 8 data bits, stop bit).

Two of the TL16C450 terminal functions on the TL16C550C and the TL16C550CI have been changed to TXRDY\ and RXRDY\, which provide signaling to a DMA controller.


  • Programmable Auto-RTS\ and Auto-CTS\
  • In Auto-CTS\ Mode, CTS\ Controls Transmitter
  • In Auto-RTS\ Mode, RCV FIFO Contents and Threshold Control RTS\
  • Serial and Modem Control Outputs Drive a RJ11 Cable Directly When Equipment Is on the Same Power Drop
  • Capable of Running With All Existing TL16C450 Software
  • After Reset, All Registers Are Identical to the TL16C450 Register Set
  • Up to 16-MHz Clock Rate for up to 1-Mbaud Operation
  • In the TL16C450 Mode, Hold and Shift Registers Eliminate the Need for Precise Synchronization Between the CPU and Serial Data
  • Programmable Baud Rate Generator Allows Division of Any Input Reference Clock by 1 to (216 –1) and Generates an Internal 16× Clock
  • Standard Asynchronous Communication Bits (Start, Stop, and Parity) Added to or Deleted From the Serial Data Stream
  • 5-V and 3.3-V Operation
  • Independent Receiver Clock Input
  • Transmit, Receive, Line Status, and Data Set Interrupts Independently Controlled
  • Fully Programmable Serial Interface Characteristics:
    • 5-, 6-, 7-, or 8-Bit Characters
    • Even-, Odd-, or No-Parity Bit Generation and Detection
    • 1-, 1 1/2-, or 2-Stop Bit Generation
    • Baud Generation (dc to 1 Mbit/s)
  • False-Start Bit Detection
  • Complete Status Reporting Capabilities
  • 3-State Output TTL Drive Capabilities for Bidirectional Data Bus and Control Bus
  • Line Break Generation and Detection
  • Internal Diagnostic Capabilities:
    • Loopback Controls for Communications Link Fault Isolation
    • Break, Parity, Overrun, and Framing Error Simulation
  • Fully Prioritized Interrupt System Controls
  • Modem Control Functions (CTS\, RTS\, DSR\, DTR\, RI\, and DCD\)


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Part number Order Number of channels (#) FIFOs (bytes) Rx FIFO trigger levels (#) Tx FIFO trigger levels (#) Programmable FIFO trigger levels CPU interface Baud rate (max) at Vcc = 1.8 V & with 16X sampling (Mbps) Baud rate (max) at Vcc = 2.5 V & with 16X sampling (Mbps) Baud rate (max) at Vcc = 3.3 V & with 16X sampling (Mbps) Baud rate (max) at Vcc = 5.0 V & with 16X sampling (Mbps) Operating voltage (V) Auto RTS/CTS Rating Operating temperature range (C) Package Group
TL16C550C Order now 1     16     4         No     X86             0.931     1     3.3
Yes     Catalog     -40 to 85
0 to 70    
LQFP | 48
PLCC | 44
TQFP | 48