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. 887-7182
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2550-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£4.256
Each (In a Tube of 15)
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. 623-0724
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2550-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£4.10
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. 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. 920-6487
Mfr. Part No.STM32F407VET6
£6.916
Each (In a Tray of 90)
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 512 kB 168MHz 4 kB, 192 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 1 16 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 746-8223
Mfr. Part No.STM32F407VET6
£8.02
Each
Units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 512 kB 168MHz 4 kB, 192 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 1 16 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-7157
Mfr. Part No.MK20DX256VLH7
BrandNXP
£4.694
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. 169-0180
Mfr. Part No.EFM8BB10F2G-A-QFN20
£0.267
Each (In a Tube of 120)
Units
EFM8BB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 2 kB 25MHz 256 B 0 - 15 1 2.2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 103-8049
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
£7.354
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
£8.55
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. 865-6263
Mfr. Part No.EFM8BB10F2G-A-QFN20
£0.289
Each (In a Pack of 30)
Units
EFM8BB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 2 kB 25MHz 256 B 0 - 15 1 2.2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 912-6855
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1823-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.854
Each (In a Tube of 30)
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 128 B 0 1 8 1 1.8 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-8235
Mfr. Part No.STM32L476RGT6
£5.885
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 1 MB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x OTG 2 16 - 3.6 (Maximum) V
RS Stock No. 703-7822
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1823-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£0.93
Each
Units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 256 B, 2K x 14 words 32MHz 128 B 0 1 8 1 1.8 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5834
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£2.12
Each (In a Tube of 10)
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32.768 kB, 256 B 16MHz 1.536 kB 0 5 30 2 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 896-7692
Mfr. Part No.STM32L476RGT6
£7.86
Each
Units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 1 MB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x OTG 2 16 - 3.6 (Maximum) V
RS Stock No. 703-7740
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-I/P
BrandMicrochip
£2.12
Each
Units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32.768 kB, 256 B 16MHz 1.536 kB 0 5 30 2 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 144-5754
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F876A-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.774
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 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1707
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£4.59
Each
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4637
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
£4.56
Each (In a Tray of 160)
Units
PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 8 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1628
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F876A-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
£3.64
Each
Units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
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