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PIC MCU enables cost-effective fan/small motor control

Posted: 20 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microchip? PIC16F616? PIC12F615? PIC? microcontroller?

Microchip Technology's newest general-purpose PIC MCU offers designers specialized peripherals for cost-effective control of fans or small motors.

The 14-pin PIC16F616/610 and the 8-pin PIC12F615/609 MCUs can substantially reduce system component counts and costs through the integration of peripherals such as a full-bridge pulse-width modulator (PWM) with deadband control, a comparator for hall-effect sensor interfaces, and an ADC for temperature and various monitoring functions. In the case of the PIC16HV616/610 and PIC12HV615/609 variants, the addition of an internal shunt regulator allows the PIC MCU to run from higher voltage rails without the addition of voltage regulators.

Engineers designing small-motor control systems are always looking for ways to eliminate components and reduce board size and cost, while achieving higher levels of functionality and flexibility. For example, in cooling fans, the PIC16F616/610 and PIC12F615/609 flash MCUs provide greater functionality than discrete fan-control components, such as linear speed control, improved dynamic response and the ability to customize the design with firmware changes rather than expensive hardware redesigns. At the same time, board space and cost is reduced with features such as comparator hysterisis, to allow direct interfacing to a hall-effect element without additional signal-conditioning circuitry.

Many high-voltage-rail applications, such as motor control and power supplies, require components to step down the input voltage for various control devices. However, these new PIC MCUs, available with an integrated shunt regulator option (designated with "HV" in the part number), allow engineers to design systems without having to add a regulator, reducing costs and board space even further. Additionally, motor and power applications often require intermediate voltages for power drivers and other power components. The PIC16F616/HV616 family addresses these requirements with a built-in S/R latch to design a switch-mode power supply for these intermediate voltages.

Sub-$50 investment
These new MCU are supported by the full suite of Microchip's development tools, including the free MPLAB IDE integrated development environment, the low-cost MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger and the MPLAB PM3 universal device programmer. The PICkit 2 Starter Kit (DV164120) enables engineers, students and anyone with an interest to easily begin development and experimentation with the PIC16F616/HV616 family for a very low initial investment of $49.99. The kit connects to any personal computer via full-speed USB 2.0, which allows faster programming and firmware upgradeability, and requires no additional power supply for the programmer or target application board.

The PIC16F610/HV610 and PIC12F609/HV609 MCUs are expected to be available in December for general sampling and volume-production orders. Their superset counterparts, the PIC16F616/HV616 and PIC12F615/HV615 MCUs are available today for general sampling and are expected to be available for volume-production ordering in December.

In 10,000-unit quantities, the PIC16F616/610 start at 73 cents each and the PIC16HV616/610 start at 77 cents each in Pb-free, RoHS-compliant 14-pin PDIP, SOIC, TSSOP and QFN packages. The PIC12F615/609 start at 60 cents each and the PIC12HV615/609 start at 64 cents in 8-pin PDIP, SOIC, DFN and MSOP packages, also in 10,000-unit quantities.

- Marty Gold

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