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. 165-6629
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K4T6TR
$2.02
Each (On a Reel of 2400)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 13 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7123
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
$12.561
Each (In a Tray of 119)
units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 32bit 12 kB, 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x Device 5 16 4 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 146-3224
Mfr. Part No.ATSAM4E16CA-AU
BrandMicrochip
$10.744
Each (On a Reel of 90)
units
ATSAM LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 1.024 MB 120MHz 128 kB 1 1 10, 24 - 1.62 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0213
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F54-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.22
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 20MHz 25 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 715-4343
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1824-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.22
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 4 kB 32MHz 512 kB - 4 8 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 111-6471
Mfr. Part No.STM32F769BIT6
$24.11
Each
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 2.048 MB 216MHz 512 kB 2 - 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0099
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F509-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.41
Each
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 12 words 4MHz 41 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 911-5836
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F54-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.282
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 20MHz 25 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 786-3943
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1455-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.256
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 14 kB 48MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 5 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 131-1192
Mfr. Part No.ATSAM4E16CA-AU
BrandMicrochip
$11.26
Each
units
SAM4E LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 1.024 MB 120MHz 128 kB 1 1 2 - 1.2 V, 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 889-5853
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F509-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.284
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 12 words 4MHz 41 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 795-7590
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K4T6
$4.726
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 13 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 792-5940
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K4T6TR
$4.42
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 13 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 146-8955
Mfr. Part No.ATSAM4E16CA-AU
BrandMicrochip
$11.81
Each
units
ATSAM LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 1.024 MB 120MHz 128 kB 1 1 10, 24 - 1.62 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 660-0836
Mfr. Part No.Z8F6421AN020SG
BrandZilog
$11.60
Each
units
Z8 Encore! XP LQFP Surface Mount 44 Z8 8bit 64 kB 20MHz 4 kB - 1 8 1 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 402-273
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103CBT6
$9.68
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 687-9348
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
$15.14
Each
units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 32bit 12 kB, 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x Device 5 16 4 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 166-0971
Mfr. Part No.STM32F769BIT6
$17.81
Each (In a Tray of 360)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 2.048 MB 216MHz 512 kB 2 - 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 124-1567
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MZ2048EFH144-I/PL
BrandMicrochip
$19.56
Each
units
PIC32MZ EF LQFP Surface Mount 144 PIC 32bit 2.048 MB 200MHz 512 kB 1 - 48 - 2.1 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-8331
Mfr. Part No.Z86E0412PSG1866
BrandZilog
$5.88
Each (In a Tube of 20)
units
Z8 PDIP Through Hole 18 Z8 8bit 1 kB 12MHz 125 B - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V