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. 623-0055
Mfr. Part No.PIC10F220-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.47
Each
Units
PIC10F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 256 x 12 words 8MHz 16 B 0 - 2 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-7136
Mfr. Part No.MKL25Z128VLK4
BrandNXP
£4.018
Each (In a Tray of 96)
Units
Kinetis L LQFP Surface Mount 80 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 128 kB 48MHz 16 kB 1 x OTG 3 14 2 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 757-0663
Mfr. Part No.C8051F060-GQ
£14.94
Each
Units
C8051F TQFP Surface Mount 100 8051 8bit 64 kB 24.5MHz 4.352 kB 0 2 8 1 2.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 625-9337
Mfr. Part No.Z8F6421VN020SG
BrandZilog
£5.09
Each
Units
Z8 Encore! XP PLCC Surface Mount 44 Z8 8bit 64 kB 20MHz 4 kB 0 1 8 1 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 896-7686
Mfr. Part No.STM32L476QEI6
£7.36
Each
Units
STM32 UFBGA Surface Mount 132 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x OTG 2 19 - 3.6 (Maximum) V
RS Stock No. 165-2084
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F13K22-I/ML
BrandMicrochip
£1.178
Each (In a Tube of 91)
Units
PIC18F QFN Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 4 kB, 8 kB 64MHz 256 B 0 1 12 1 3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 400-762
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ64GA006-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.53
Each
Units
PIC24FJ TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 16bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB 0 1 16 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 666-9958
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F25J11-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
£1.93
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
PIC18F SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 48MHz 3.776 kB 0 2 10 2 2.15 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 145-9061
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX150F128B-50I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£2.861
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC32MX PDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 32bit 128 + 3 kB 50MHz 32 kB 0 5 10 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 817-6414
Mfr. Part No.MSP430G2533IPW28
£1.666
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
MSP430 TSSOP Surface Mount 28 MSP430 16bit 16 kB 16MHz 512 B 0 - 8 2 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 743-4712
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1825-E/ST
BrandMicrochip
£0.79
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
PIC16F TSSOP Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 14 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB, 256 B - 4 8 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 911-5817
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1828-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
£0.984
Each (In a Tube of 67)
Units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 4 kwords 32MHz 512 B - 4 12 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 144-9105
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF18855-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
£0.87
Each (In a Tube of 27)
Units
PIC16LF SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 14 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB 0 1 24 - 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 715-4309
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F723A-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
£0.92
Each
Units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 4096 words 20MHz 192 B - 1 11 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 823-7809
Mfr. Part No.DSPIC33EP256MC506-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£3.09
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
DSPIC33EP TQFP Surface Mount 64 dsPIC 16bit 256 kB 70MHz 32 kB 0 4 16 2 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 818-2248
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF1828T-I/ML
BrandMicrochip
£1.00
Each (On a Reel of 3300)
Units
PIC16F QFN Surface Mount 20 PIC16LF 8bit 7 kB 32MHz 256 B 1 2 12 1 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 872-2402
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F917-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£2.646
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14 kB, 256 B 20MHz 352 B 0 2 8 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-8969
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F26J13-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£0.649
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 64 kB 48MHz 3.76 kB 0 10 10 2 2.15 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 144-5755
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF876A-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.923
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 5 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 810-7581
Mfr. Part No.STM32F207IEH6
£8.78
Each
Units
STM32F UFBGA Surface Mount 176 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 120MHz 128 + 4 kB 1 x OTG 1 24 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
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