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. 887-7123
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£5.96
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
£7.17
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
£4.01
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
£4.04
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. 841-7548
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX170F256B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.07
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
£3.07
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. 165-4769
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F73-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£2.87
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. 467-1347
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F73-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£2.79
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. 623-0421
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.60
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. 887-7325
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.595
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. 876-6717
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F887-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£1.84
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 8192 words 20MHz 368 B 0 2 14 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 399-420
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F887-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.026
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 8192 words 20MHz 368 B 0 2 14 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 715-4202
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F66K80-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£3.13
Each
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 11 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 821-0545
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F66K80T-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.63
Each (On a Reel of 1200)
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 3.648 kB 0 2 11 1 1.8 → 5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5367
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F66K80-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.60
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 11 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 887-7164
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.912
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - 4 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 544-1692
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.92
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - 4 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7151
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F683-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.12
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 2048 x 14 words, 256 B 20MHz 128 B 0 1 4 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 121-4232
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F683-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.12
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC12F683 PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 20MHz 128 B 0 0 4 - 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7142
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4550-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£4.26
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