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Microchip outs PIC MCUs with core-independent peripherals

23 Jul 2015  | Graham Prophet

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Microchip Technology has announced the PIC16F18877, an MCU with ADC computation, and the first PIC16 with low-power modes. In addition, the PIC16F1579 has been released, an 8bit PIC MCU with four independent time-based 16bit PWMs.

Interconnected core-independent peripherals perform functions without the core; serial interfaces for LIN and DMX, and intelligent analogue for signal and sensor interfaces.

Core-Independent Peripherals (CIPs) in 8bit MCUs can now be used in a much broader range of applications, due to the growing number of these intelligent, interconnected CIPs that combine to perform functions autonomously, without the core. Because these functions are deterministically and reliably performed in hardware instead of software, CIPs enable system performance that is beyond typical 8bit MCUs while simplifying design and reducing memory cost. These two families are available in 8 to 40-pin packages, reducing board space while operating from 1.8V to 5.5V. Both families offer the Peripheral Pin Select feature, which enables flexible pin mapping and PCB routing to minimise EMI and crosstalk. Example applications include consumer electronics, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable technology and safety-critical systems.

The four latest members of the PIC16F1579 family come in 14 to 20-pin packages with up to 28KB of Flash and feature CIPs that enable functions in a range of applications such as LED lighting and motor control. They are the 8bit PIC MCUs with four 16bit PWMs, each with independent timers for flexible output and signal-generation functions including edge, centre-aligned and other output modes. System-communication functions are supported via serial interfaces for LIN and DMX connectivity, while the family's intelligent analogue integration enables signal and sensor interface functions.


The first 10 members of the PIC16F18877 family are available in 8 to 40-pin packages with up to 56KB of Flash and feature CIPs that enable functions in a broad range of applications, such as consumer electronics, IoT and safety-critical systems. They claim to be the first MCUs to integrate an ADC with computation, which performs input and sensor interface functions such as accumulation, averaging and low-pass filter calculations in hardware instead of software, enabling the CPU to Sleep or execute other tasks. They are also the first PIC16 MCUs to augment Microchip's eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology with the IDLE and DOZE modes for reduced active power consumption. They are the first 8bit MCUs with Peripheral Module Disable, which completely removes peripherals from the power rail and clock tree for zero power leakage, noted the company. Other integrated CIPs, such as the Hardware Limit Timer, combine for the easy implementation of safety-critical functions.

The Curiosity Development Board (DM164137, priced at $20) is available; the freely downloadable MPLAB Code Configurator generates code. It provides a visual representation of an MCU's peripherals, eliminating the need to read data sheets. It enables the easy setup of CIPs and provides production-ready code. Microchip's MPLAB XC8 compiler and standard programmer/debuggers are also available.

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