What is an IC 4017 : Pin Configuration & Its Application

Most of us are more comfortable with 1, 2, 3, 4… rather than 001, 010, 011, 100. We mean to say that we will need a decimal coded output in many cases rather than a raw binary output. We have many counter ICs available but most of them produce binary data as an output. We will again need to process that output by using decoders or any other circuitry to make it usable for our application in most cases. Let us now introduce you to a new IC named IC 4017. It is a CMOS decade counter cum decoder circuit that can work out of the box for most of our low-range counting applications. It can count from zero to ten and its outputs are decoded. This saves a lot of board space and time required to build our circuits when our application demands using a counter followed by a decoder IC. This IC also simplifies the design and makes debugging easy. This article discusses an overview of the IC 4017 datasheet.

What is an IC 4017 Decade Counter?

The CD4017 IC is a CMOS Decade counter and it is used in the applications of low-range counting. This IC will count from 0 to 10 and the circuit with an IC 4017 will save board space as well as the time necessary to design the circuit. This decade counter is similar to Johnson 10 stage decade counter. This CMOS IC is frequently used in designing the 10 LEDs-based circuits to run the light for beginners. So it is one of the most flexible counters because it counts up to 10 & also it includes 10 separate outputs. This IC includes the counter as well as the decoder.


4017 IC
4017 IC

Pin Configuration of IC 4017

A CMOS decade counter like 4017 IC includes a five-stage Johnson counter & 10 decoded outputs for counting up to 10 decimals. This IC can be used in different counter circuits such as an LED chaser light & also a non-contact circuit with an AC detector. This IC includes 16-pins where 10 & 16 pins are output pins. This IC counts for every positive otherwise increasing edge input provided at the CLK input.

Here, the output begins from ‘0’ and moves to output ‘9. Once it reaches then the output will count at ‘9’ and again it repeats from 0 & continues this revolution similar to a ring counter. On each count among 0 to 9, the particular output pin can include a high state & the remaining output maintains low; simply one o/p will be high at a time.

For instance, if the count is presently three then the output at pin-7 is will be in a high state whereas the remaining pins are in a less state. If two cycles of the square wave are applied toward the clock input, then the output will shift to output 4 on the positive edge of the primary cycle which alters output-4 to high state & output-3 to low state.

Now the condition remains until another positive edge of the next cycle arrives, after that the o/p moves to pin1 or output 5 and maintains this condition. The ic 4017 internal structure is shown below.


IC 4017 Pin Diagram
IC 4017 Pin Diagram

It has 16 pins and the functionality of each pin is explained as follows:

  • Pin-1: It is the output 5. It goes high when the counter reads 5 counts.
  • Pin-2: It is the output 1. It goes high when the counter reads 0 counts.
  • Pin-3: It is the output 0. It goes high when the counter reads 0 counts.
  • Pin-4: It is the output 2. It goes high when the counter reads 2 counts.
  • Pin-5: It is the output 6. It goes high when the counter reads 6 counts.
  • Pin-6: It is the output 7. It goes high when the counter reads 7 counts.
  • Pin-7: It is the output 3. It goes high when the counter reads 3 counts.
  • Pin-8: It is the Ground pin that should be connected to a LOW voltage (0V).
  • Pin-9: It is the output 8. It goes high when the counter reads 8 counts.
  • Pin-10: It is the output 4. It goes high when the counter reads 4 counts.
  • Pin-11: It is the output 9. It goes high when the counter reads 9 counts.
  • Pin-12: This is divided by 10 output which is used to cascade the IC with another counter to enable counting greater than the range supported by a single IC 4017. By cascading with another 4017 IC, we can count up to 20 numbers. We can increase and increase the range of counting by cascading it with more and more IC 4017s. Each additional cascaded IC will increase the counting range by 10. However, it is not advisable to cascade more than 3 ICs as it may reduce the reliability of the count due to the occurrence of glitches. If you need a counting range of more than twenty or thirty, I advise you to go with the conventional procedure of using a binary counter followed by a corresponding decoder.
  • Pin-13: This pin is the disabled pin. In the normal mode of operation, this is connected to ground or logic LOW voltage. If this pin is connected to logic HIGH voltage, then the circuit will stop receiving pulses and so it will not advance the count irrespective of several pulses received from the clock.
  • Pin-14: This pin is the clock input. This is the pin from where we need to give the input clock pulses to the IC to advance the count. The count advances on the rising edge of the clock.
  • Pin-15: This is the reset pin that should be kept LOW for normal operation. If you need to reset the IC, then you can connect this pin to HIGH voltage.
  • Pin-16: This is the power supply (Vcc) pin. This should be given a HIGH voltage of 3V to 15V for the IC to function.

This IC is very useful and also user-friendly. To use the IC, just connect it according to the specifications described above in the pin configuration and give the pulses you need to count to the pin-14 of the IC. Then you can collect the outputs at the output pins. When the count is zero, Pin-3 is HIGH. When the count is 1, Pin-2 is HIGH, and so on as described above.

Features & Specifications of IC 4017

The main features and specifications of IC 407 include the following.

  • The supply voltage of IC 4017 ranges from 3V to 15V, usually +5V
  • This IC is well-matched with Transistor-Transistor Logic or TTL.
  • The operational speed/CLK speed of this IC is 5 MHz.
  • It provides support to10 outputs that are decoded.
  • It is available in different packages like 16-pin GDIP, PDIP & PDSO
  • Input high time 30 ns
  • Output current is 10 mA
  • Noise immunity is high typically 0.45 VDD
  • Operation is completely static
  • Low power like 10 µW
  • Speed operation is medium like 5.0 MHz with 10V VDD
  • Input Voltage or Vin ranges from −0.5 VDC to VDD +0.5 VDC
  • TS or Storage Temperature ranges from −65°C to +150°C
  • VDD or DC Supply Voltage ranges from −0.5 VDC to +18 VDC
  • PD or Power Dissipation is Dual-In-Line is 700 mW
  • TL or Lead Temperature is 260°C

In various electronic circuit applications, this IC 4017 decade counter is one of the most versatile and useful chips. Practically, it is also known as “Johnson 10 stage decade counter divider. Here the 10 number is connected through the number of o/ps this counter has that will turn into high in series in reply to each high CLK pulse that is given at its input CLK pinout. This means, all its outputs will use a single cycle of high o/p sequencing from beginning to end in reply to 10 CLKs and it is received at its input. As the name suggests, so it is counting in a way & also separating the input CLK through 10.

Counting Operation of IC through Waveforms

The timing diagram of IC 4017 is shown below. This diagram will show the comparison and also explains the series of counting for the outputs which shift from one pin to its next. If we monitor that, before providing the CLK, the RST pin is fixed to High; consequently the input of the reset pin will set all the output toward their early state. After that, the o/p of the primary output of pin-3 will be high. After that this o/p can be moved to another output pin. This series will continue to till the next CLK cycle.

Where to Use IC CD4017?

The applications of IC CD4017 include the following.

  • The most popular IC like CD4017 is extensively used in different applications which includes Decoder, Binary counter, Frequency division, Decade counter, etc. Additionally, this IC is also used to make different electronics projects like Remote controlled Switch, Light Chaser, Touch ON-OFF switch, Alarm, Matrix Die, Clap switch, etc.
  • This decade counter IC can also be used in different industries like automotive, alarms, electronic manufacturing of medical instruments & instrumentation devices.
  • This IC is used in counting applications which can switch ON 10 outputs in sequence within a fixed time & reset the count otherwise hold it once necessary. It also indicates the counting status through the Carry pin that is used in LED chasers as well as other logical output projects. So this IC is the best choice if you are searching for a sequential decoded counting IC to count up to 10

How to Use?

The IC CD4017can work from 3V-15V, however usually powered through +5V toward the Vdd or Vcc pin & the GND or Vss pin can be connected to the ground. Here, 10 output pins range from Q0 to Q9, which are connected to any load however we are using LEDs in the circuit.

What is Logic High & Logic Low?

  • The pins which are marked like output pins turn into logic “high” continuously in a series in reply to CLK signals at pin14 of the chip.
  • Logic high is nothing but getting a positive voltage supply value, whereas logic low nothing but achieving ‘0’ voltage value.
  • Thus with the primary clock signal at pin14, the primary output pin within the order which is the pin3 goes maximum first, after that it block outs. At the same time, the next pin2 turns into maximum, after that this pin goes low & concurrently the previous pin4 will become high until the final pin11 turns into high.

Application Circuits of IC4017

The application circuits based on IC 4017 decade counter are discussed below.

Circling LEDs Effect

In this, we have eight LEDs that glow one after the other to form a circling effect. My intention in publishing this circuit is not just to make some artwork with electronics but also to illustrate the ic 4017 working principle and circuit design using IC 555 in astable mode, 4017 counter, and to explain the related concepts. The ic 4017 led circuit diagram is shown below.

Circling LEDs Effect
Circling LEDs Effect

The 555 IC will operate in astable mode with a frequency of 14Hz. The 555 IC in the circuit is used as a clock pulse generator to provide input clock pulses to the counter IC 4017. The IC 555 in the circuit operates at a frequency of 14Hz, which means that it produces about 14 clock pulses every second to the IC 4017.

Now we shall analyze what happens at IC 4017. IC 4017 is a digital counter plus decoder circuit. The clock pulses generated at the output of the IC 555 timer (PIN-3) are given as an input to IC 4017 through PIN-14.

Whenever a clock pulse is received at the clock input of the IC 4017 counter, the counter increments the count and activates the corresponding output PIN. When the count is zero, PIN-3 is HIGH, which means LED-1 will be ON and all the other LEDs are OFF. After the next clock pulse, PIN-2 of IC 4017 is HIGH, which means that LED-2 will glow and all the other LEDs can be turned OFF. This repeats and the LEDs turn ON and OFF successively on each clock pulse thereby producing a circling effect which I have demonstrated in the animation above.

Assembling this Circuit

This circuit can be housed on a general-purpose PCB or a stripboard and the LEDs in the circuit are to be arranged in a circular shape. Make sure that you arrange the LEDs in order with LED-1 first, LED-2 second and so on upto LED-8. Arrange the LEDs in a circle and solder them onto a PCB.

Not just a circle! You can experiment with any other shapes and designs and get a beautiful circling effect for your shape. Other shapes can you try? Any of course, but here are a few suggestions. You can try to construct the first letter of your name with this circling effect. I made this circuit a few years ago in the shape of my first letter D but I have de-soldered it some time ago when I was badly in need of LEDs for some other project.

Running Light using IC4017 and IC 555

A 555 timer IC1 is used in astable mode i.e. with the free-running multi-vibrator condition the frequency of which is to be varied by a variable resistor. This output is used as clock pulses for a decade counter IC2.

Running Light using IC4017 and IC 555
Running Light using IC4017 and IC 555

The output of the counter drives a set of optocouplers U1 to U4 which in turn triggers corresponding TRIACs to switch on loads sequentially for the first 3 and then the 4th one stays on for a little longer time as per the circuit configuration. The power supply comprises a step-down transformer TR1 and a bridge rectifier D7 to 10configuration duly filtered by C4.

Thus, this is all about an overview of the decade counter like IC 4017, pin configuration, circuit diagram, working, and application circuits. It is a Johnson counter including a carryout bit & 10 decoded outputs. The arrangement of this chip allows medium speed operation and guarantees a risk-free counting series. Generally, the decoded outputs like 10/8 are in the logical low state & it goes to the logic high state simply at their particular time slot. Every decoded output maintains a maximum for 1 complete CLK cycle. The carry-out signal finishes a complete cycle for each 10/8 CLK input cycle which is utilized like a ripple carry signal toward any subsequent phases.

8 Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of a “cum decoder”. The second sentance in the second paragraph.

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Diana
      Here the cum is nothing but ‘combined with’

  2. tanmayjadhav says:

    can someone tell me conclusion of ic 4017…plzzzz

  3. if ic 4017 be is getting severe heat while coneected to Dc supply is it normal in its operation or any wrong in the connection.

  4. PLEASE CHANGE THE PIN NO 2 OUTPUT ie., 1 ,NOT 0

  5. rever4217 says:

    Is that a mistake saying that pin 2 goes high when it reads 0 counts?

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