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. 907-4750
Mfr. Part No.STM32F429NIH6
£11.41
Each
Units
STM32 BGA Surface Mount 216 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 258 kB 1 - 24 - 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 880-6907
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4523-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£4.516
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5291
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F818-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
£1.741
Each (In a Tube of 42)
Units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 1.792 kB, 128 B 20MHz 128 B 0 1 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 912-6851
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1938-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£1.612
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 16384 words 32MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 11 1 2.5 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 876-6792
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
£1.632
Each (In a Tube of 38)
Units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 4096 words 20MHz 256 B 0 1 12 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-6703
Mfr. Part No.STM32F302RBT6
£2.976
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 1 8 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 564-153
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F14K50-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
£1.782
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC18F SOIC Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 16 kB, 256 B 48MHz 768 B 1 x Device 1 11 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 920-6465
Mfr. Part No.STM32F407ZGT6
£8.588
Each (In a Tray of 60)
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. 810-7654
Mfr. Part No.STM32F302RBT6
£3.96
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 1 8 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 876-6865
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F946-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.651
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 14 kB, 256 B 20MHz 336 B 0 2 8 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 824-8871
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F86K22-I/PTRSL
BrandMicrochip
£3.095
Each (In a Pack of 2)
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 80 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 4 kB 0 10 24 2 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 757-4772
Mfr. Part No.C8051F410-GQ
£7.16
Each
Units
C8051F LQFP Surface Mount 32 8051 8bit 32 kB 50MHz 2.304 kB 0 2 24 1 2 → 5.25 V
RS Stock No. 725-7802
Mfr. Part No.LPC2468FBD208,551
BrandNXP
£15.62
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. 889-5718
Mfr. Part No.PIC18LF1320-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
£2.515
Each (In a Tube of 42)
Units
PIC18F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 8 kB, 256 B 40MHz 256 B 0 1 7 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-9640
Mfr. Part No.MCHC11F1CFNE4
BrandNXP
£14.233
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. 539-0263
Mfr. Part No.MCHC11F1CFNE4
BrandNXP
£15.11
Each
Units
M68HC11 PLCC Surface Mount 68 HC11 8bit 512 B 3MHz 1.024 kB 0 1 8 1 -
RS Stock No. 887-7136
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2520-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£4.009
Each (In a Tube of 15)
Units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 10 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-8263
Mfr. Part No.STM32F429NIH6
£9.027
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
STM32 BGA Surface Mount 216 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 258 kB 1 - 24 - 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 400-441
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F946-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£3.03
Each
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 14 kB, 256 B 20MHz 336 B 0 2 8 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 814-3076
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1571-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
£0.417
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 1 kwords 16MHz 128 B 1 3 4 0 5.5 V
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