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16bit MCUs tout 'lowest-power,' large memory

Posted: 03 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:low power MCU? 16bit MCU? microcontroller? large memory?


Microchip Technology Inc. has added nine new members of the cost-effective PIC24F 16bit MCU family, which are said to consume the least power at 2.6?A standby current and a large memory of up to 256Kbyte flash and 16Kbyte RAM.

The PIC24F is also claimed to be the first 16bit MCU family with an integrated Charge Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) peripheral, which!along with the royalty-free mTouch Sensing Solution software development kit!enables designers to easily add a capacitive-touch user interface without any external components. When combined with Microchip's free Graphics Software Library, engineers have access to a complete and cost-effective user interface solution. For I/O flexibility in advanced applications, the entire PIC24FJ256GA1 family allows the use of all onboard peripherals, by enabling designers to map them to the pin they desire through the "Peripheral Pin Select" pin-mapping function.

Embedded engineers must constantly add more functions and capabilities to their designs, without sacrificing cost, space or power consumption. This is driving the demand for MCUs, such as the 16bit PIC24FJ256GA1 family that provide larger memory for advanced applications and higher integration to save space while maintaining low power consumption. Additionally, the enhanced peripherals of the PIC24FJ256GA1 family provide up to four UARTs, three SPI ports and three I2C ports to expand control capabilities and eliminate the space and cost of support chips.

Rarely are designers working on point applications, but rather complete portfolios of end products. To provide the flexibility that this design approach requires, the PIC24FJ256GA1 family maintains pin, peripheral and software compatibility with all of Microchip's general-purpose 32bit MCU and 16bit MCU/DSC families. To further ease migration and protect tool investments, Microchip offers a complete portfolio of 8-, 16- and 32bit devices to be supported by a single Integrated Development Environment!the free MPLAB IDE.

The PIC24FJ256GA1 family is designed to meet a wide range of design-engineering needs across a broad spectrum of industries, especially those looking to provide an improved user-interface experience. The family suits a wide range of application including battery-powered, consumer, automotive, appliance, instrumentation/measurement, industrial, and medical.

"Microchip's latest 16bit PIC MCUs provide customers with a new level of integration for general-purpose applications. Large code space, low power, and a powerful peripheral set expand the general-purpose capabilities of our cost-effective PIC24F family," said Mitch Obolsky, VP of Microchip's advanced MCU architecture division.

All PIC24F family members are supported by Microchip's development tools, including MPLAB IDE, MPLAB C30 C compiler, MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system, MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger and MPLAB PM3 universal device programmer. Owners of the Explorer 16 development board can purchase a $25 PIC24FJ256GA1 plug-in module (part # MA240015), which is available today at

The nine-member PIC24FJ256GA1 family is offered in 64-, 80- or 100-pin TQFP package options!in commercial and extended temperature ranges!and all are available now for general sampling with volume production expected in this month. Pricing starts at $3.39 each in 10,000-unit quantities.

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