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. 746-8220
Mfr. Part No.STM32F407ZGT6
£9.47
Each
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 1.024 MB 168MHz 4 kB, 192 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 1 24 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 111-6472
Mfr. Part No.STM32F769NIH6
£12.98
Each
Units
STM32 TFBGA Surface Mount 216 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 2.048 MB 216MHz 512 kB 2 - 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 792-6079
Mfr. Part No.STM32F439ZIT6
£12.07
Each
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 256 kB 2 2 24 3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 921-4545
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA328P-PU
BrandMicrochip
£1.894
Each (In a Tube of 14)
Units
ATmega PDIP Through Hole 28 AVR 8bit 1 kB, 32 kB 20MHz 2 kB 0 3 6 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7123
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£6.13
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. 687-9348
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£7.39
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. 887-7139
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£3.83
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1690
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£3.88
Each
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 922-0997
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA32U4-AU
BrandMicrochip
£2.865
Each (In a Tray of 160)
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. 865-6294
Mfr. Part No.EFM8SB10F8G-A-QFN20
£0.593
Each (In a Pack of 20)
Units
EFM8SB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 8 kB 25MHz 512 B 0 - 9 1 2.4 V
RS Stock No. 169-0186
Mfr. Part No.EFM8SB10F8G-A-QFN20
£0.522
Each (In a Tube of 100)
Units
EFM8SB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 8 kB 25MHz 512 B 0 - 9 1 2.4 V
RS Stock No. 841-7548
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.16
Each (In a Pack of 3)
Units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 256 kB 0 5 10 2 2.3 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-4176
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.12
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC32MX SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 256 kB 0 5 10 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7325
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.48
Each (In a Tube of 22)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 4096 x 14 words, 256 B 20MHz 256 B 0 - 12 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1347
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F73-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£2.71
Each
Units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 4K x 14 words 20MHz 192 B 0 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 625-9078
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
£4.56
Each
Units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - 0 - - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0421
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.49
Each
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 256 B, 4096 x 14 words 20MHz 256 B 0 - 12 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-8229
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
£4.142
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - 0 - - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4769
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F73-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£2.67
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 4K x 14 words 20MHz 192 B 0 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 920-6468
Mfr. Part No.STM32F407VGT6
£8.681
Each (In a Tray of 90)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 1.024 MB 168MHz 4 kB, 192 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 1 16 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
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