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. 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. 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. 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. 755-9449
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
$1.107
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. 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. 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. 165-4142
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18323-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.567
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 11 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 916-3731
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18323-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.663
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 11 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 916-3734
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.594
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4174
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.367
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7139
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$7.834
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B - 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1690
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$10.53
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B - 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0803
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4550-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$9.40
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7142
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4550-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$6.303
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4083
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$6.133
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 256 + 3 kB 50MHz 64 kB - 1 10 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 829-0576
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$7.025
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 256 + 3 kB 50MHz 64 kB - 1 10 2 2.3 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 807-3823
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1572-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.216
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 16MHz 256 B 1 1 4 - 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 399-410
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F887-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$4.232
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 256 B, 8192 x 14 words 20MHz 368 B - 2 14 1 2 to 5.5 V