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. 169-7157
Mfr. Part No.MK20DX256VLH7
BrandNXP
£4.90
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
Kinetis K2x LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 - 288 kB 72MHz 66 kB 1 1 2 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 786-2120
Mfr. Part No.MK20DX256VLH7
BrandNXP
£6.57
Each
Units
Kinetis K2x LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 - 288 kB 72MHz 66 kB 1 1 2 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 103-8049
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
£6.364
Each (In a Tube of 90)
Units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 725-7733
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
£8.69
Each
Units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 539-0178
Mfr. Part No.MC68HC11E0CFNE2
BrandNXP
£12.572
Each (In a Tube of 23)
Units
M68HC11 PLCC Surface Mount 52 HC11 8bit - 2MHz 512 B 0 - 8 1 3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 103-8063
Mfr. Part No.LPC2478FBD208,551
BrandNXP
£12.913
Each (In a Tube of 36)
Units
LPC24 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 72MHz 4 kB, 98 kB 1 x Device, 1 x OHCI, 1 x OTG 1 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 725-7815
Mfr. Part No.LPC2478FBD208,551
BrandNXP
£14.20
Each
Units
LPC24 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 72MHz 4 kB, 98 kB 1 x Device, 1 x OHCI, 1 x OTG 1 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 725-7742
Mfr. Part No.LPC1769FBD100
BrandNXP
£9.07
Each
Units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 103-8051
Mfr. Part No.LPC1769FBD100,551
BrandNXP
£7.403
Each (In a Tube of 90)
Units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 169-7163
Mfr. Part No.MKL02Z32VFG4
BrandNXP
£1.232
Each (In a Tray of 490)
Units
Kinetis L QFN Surface Mount 16 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 1 1 - 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 788-4723
Mfr. Part No.MKL02Z32VFG4
BrandNXP
£1.87
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
Kinetis L QFN Surface Mount 16 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 1 1 - 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 788-4732
Mfr. Part No.MKL02Z32VFM4
BrandNXP
£1.20
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
Kinetis L QFN Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 1 1 - 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-7165
Mfr. Part No.MKL02Z32VFM4
BrandNXP
£1.295
Each (In a Tray of 490)
Units
Kinetis L QFN Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 1 1 - 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 725-7802
Mfr. Part No.LPC2468FBD208,551
BrandNXP
£14.02
Each
Units
LPC24 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 72MHz 4 kB, 98 kB 1 x Device, 1 x OHCI, 1 x OTG 1 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 103-8062
Mfr. Part No.LPC2468FBD208,551
BrandNXP
£12.261
Each (In a Tube of 36)
Units
LPC24 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 72MHz 4 kB, 98 kB 1 x Device, 1 x OHCI, 1 x OTG 1 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 800-7438
Mfr. Part No.MKE02Z16VLC4
BrandNXP
£1.526
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
Kinetis E QFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 16 kB 40MHz - 0 - - 0 5 V
RS Stock No. 168-9640
Mfr. Part No.MCHC11F1CFNE4
BrandNXP
£13.904
Each (In a Tube of 18)
Units
M68HC11 PLCC Surface Mount 68 HC11 8bit 512 B 3MHz 1.024 kB 0 1 8 1 -
RS Stock No. 169-7256
Mfr. Part No.MKE02Z16VLC4
BrandNXP
£0.97
Each (In a Tray of 250)
Units
Kinetis E QFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 16 kB 40MHz - 0 - - 0 5 V
RS Stock No. 539-0263
Mfr. Part No.MCHC11F1CFNE4
BrandNXP
£15.24
Each
Units
M68HC11 PLCC Surface Mount 68 HC11 8bit 512 B 3MHz 1.024 kB 0 1 8 1 -
RS Stock No. 539-0291
Mfr. Part No.MC68HC705C8ACFNE
BrandNXP
£12.62
Each
Units
M68HC05 PLCC Surface Mount 44 HC05 8bit 8 kB 2.1MHz 304 B 0 - - 1 3 → 5.5 V