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. 165-5354
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746BGT6
£8.129
Each (In a Tray of 360)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 1.024 MB 216MHz 340 kB 2 2 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 882-0271
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746BGT6
£11.02
Each
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 1.024 MB 216MHz 340 kB 2 2 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7293
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PF
BrandMicrochip
£6.866
Each (In a Tray of 90)
Units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 MIPS32 32bit 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 2 5 16 4 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 791-6003
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PF
BrandMicrochip
£7.50
Each
Units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 MIPS32 32bit 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 2 5 16 4 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 916-3747
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18323-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
£0.599
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B 0 1 11 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4084
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18323-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
£0.546
Each (In a Tube of 57)
Units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B 0 1 11 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7126
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4620-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£5.255
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.986 kB 0 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7401
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F46K22-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£1.887
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.896 kB - 5 28 2 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 715-4123
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F46K22-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£2.27
Each
Units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 64 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.896 kB - 5 28 2 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0847
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4620-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£5.54
Each
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.986 kB 0 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 919-6260
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6
£0.758
Each (In a Tube of 74)
Units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 1 11 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 829-7151
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6TR
£0.775
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 - 11 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 792-5925
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6
£0.757
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 1 11 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-8744
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6TR
£0.388
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
Units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 - 11 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 889-5351
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F508-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.499
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC12 PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 162-7268
Mfr. Part No.LM3S1968-IQC50-A2
£13.913
Each (In a Tray of 90)
Units
Stellaris LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 50MHz 64 kB 0 3 8 2 2.25 → 2.75 V, 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0487
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F88-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£2.81
Each
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 7.168 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 1 7 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 709-4241
Mfr. Part No.LM3S1968-IQC50-A2
£16.79
Each
Units
Stellaris LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 50MHz 64 kB 0 3 8 2 2.25 → 2.75 V, 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7170
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F88-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£2.58
Each (In a Tube of 25)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 7.168 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 1 7 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0083
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F508-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.56
Each
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
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