Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers, also referred to as MCUs (microcontroller units), are embedded semiconductor devices used in circuit board design. They are essentially a computer within an integrated circuit (IC). Microcontrollers are mostly used in single-function ’embedded’ applications, unlike microprocessors which are designed for general-purpose work in Personal Computers, Tablets and Smartphones. Microcontrollers are limited in their clock speed compared to microprocessors by the relative slowness of their non-volatile Flash program memory.


What are they made up of?


Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors (sometimes referred to as CPUs), plus memory and I/O peripherals. These peripherals include timers, ADCs (analogue-to-digital converters) and DACs (digital-to-analogue converters).


What does “8-bit” mean?


Microcontrollers have a data bus width which describes the amount of data the MCU can process at a time. For example, an 8-bit microcontroller can process 8 bits at one time. Popular data bus widths include 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit MCUs.


What packages are there?


MCUs come in standard chip packages with various pin counts. Package types include:


  • LQFP

  • PDIP

  • QFN

  • SOIC

  • SSOP

  • TQFP

  • TSSOP

What are ARM processor cores?


Microcontrollers often contain an ARM microprocessor core. ARM represents an architecture developed by ARM Holdings, which is used by other companies to manufacture microprocessors and other devices such as System-on-Chip (SoCs).


  • Cortex-M0

  • Cortex-M0+

  • Cortex-M1

  • Cortex-M3

  • Cortex-M4

  • Cortex-M7

  • Cortex-M23

  • Cortex-M33

  • Cortex-M35P

Where are microcontrollers used?


  • Computers

  • Automotive

  • Robotics

  • Automation

  • Medical equipment

  • Home appliances

...
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Description Price Family Name Package Type Mounting Type Pin Count Device Core Data Bus Width Program Memory Size Maximum Frequency RAM Size USB Channels Number of PWM Units ADC Channels Number of SPI Channels Typical Operating Supply Voltage
RS Stock No. 715-3805
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA32U4-AU
BrandMicrochip
$9.70
Each
units
ATmega TQFP Surface Mount 44 AVR 8bit 1 kB, 32 kB 16MHz 2.5 kB 1 x Device 3 12 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 775-2896
Mfr. Part No.STM32F101ZGT6
$18.92
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 1 MB 36MHz 80 kB - 10 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 177-7178
Mfr. Part No.STM32F101ZGT6
$12.93
Each (In a Tray of 60)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 1 MB 36MHz 80 kB - 10 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 889-5988
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-E/PT
BrandMicrochip
$3.347
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 32.768 kB, 256 B 16MHz 1.536 kB - 5 30 2 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 704-7731
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-E/PT
BrandMicrochip
$4.93
Each
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 32.768 kB, 256 B 16MHz 1.536 kB - 5 30 2 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4176
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$6.667
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 256 kB - 5 10 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 841-7548
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$7.697
Each (In a Pack of 3)
units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 256 kB - 5 10 2 2.3 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 145-9016
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K50-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$4.239
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 2 25 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 755-9449
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
$1.23
Each (In a Pack of 3)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 786-3915
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K50-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$5.424
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 2 25 1 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5547
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
$0.975
Each (In a Tube of 57)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-8756
Mfr. Part No.STM32F070CBT6
$2.107
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 128 kB 48MHz 16 kB 1 - 13 - 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 110-6133
Mfr. Part No.STM32F070CBT6
$2.848
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 128 kB 48MHz 16 kB 1 - 13 - 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-8229
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
$8.791
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 919-6264
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030C6T6
$1.565
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 12 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 625-9078
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
$8.80
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 792-5928
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030C6T6
$3.066
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 12 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 714-7676
Mfr. Part No.STM32F101C6T6A
$4.62
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 32 kB 36MHz 6 kB - 2 10 1 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 919-6270
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030R8T6
$2.054
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 48MHz 8 kB - 1 18 2 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-6893
Mfr. Part No.STM32F101C6T6A
$5.105
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 32 kB 36MHz 6 kB - 2 10 1 2 → 3.6 V
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