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. 170-4340
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629T-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
£0.816
Each (On a Reel of 3300)
Units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 887-7192
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
£0.774
Each (In a Tube of 100)
Units
PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 544-1686
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
£0.808
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 823-8004
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629T-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
£0.822
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 1024 words 20MHz 64 B 0 0 - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 865-6308
Mfr. Part No.EFM8SB10F8G-A-QSOP24
£0.709
Each (In a Pack of 20)
Units
EFM8SB QSOP Surface Mount 24 CIP-51 8bit 8 kB 25MHz 512 B 0 - 10 1 2.4 V
RS Stock No. 169-0189
Mfr. Part No.EFM8SB10F8G-A-QSOP24
£0.644
Each (In a Tube of 56)
Units
EFM8SB QSOP Surface Mount 24 CIP-51 8bit 8 kB 25MHz 512 B 0 - 10 1 2.4 V
RS Stock No. 623-0853
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4580-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£5.54
Each
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 11 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7233
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4580-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£5.251
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 11 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 102-3545
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103C8T6
£2.73
Each (In a Tray of 250)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 64 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 905-3151
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1619-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.188
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC16LF PDIP Through Hole 20 8 bit CPU 8bit 14 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB 0 2 12 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 144-5888
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1619-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£1.188
Each (In a Tube of 22)
Units
PIC16LF PDIP Through Hole 20 8 bit CPU 8bit 14 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB 0 2 12 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 402-279
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103C8T6
£3.92
Each
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 64 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-4174
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.596
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B 0 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 743-2697
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1840-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.923
Each (In a Pack of 4)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 7 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 4 1 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7195
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.856
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 911-5763
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1840-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.847
Each (In a Tube of 60)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 7 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 4 1 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 916-3734
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.65
Each (In a Pack of 10)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B 0 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 544-1670
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.916
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 128 B, 1024 x 14 words 20MHz 64 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0724
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2550-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£4.41
Each
Units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 10 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 379-2897
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-04/P
BrandMicrochip
£3.16
Each
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 64 x 14 words 4MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 5.5 V
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