BOSTON Ė Before Thanksgiving, Microchip Technology Inc. will begin shipping an 8-bit microcontroller with integrated USB that measures 4 x 4 mm and costs 50 cents in high volumes. Itís the smallest and cheapest microcontroller Microchip has made to date.
The chip is one member of three new families of 8-bitters with integrated USB that Microchip is announcing at DESIGN East (#designeast) here this week. The conference is the East Coastís annual microcontroller and RTOS fest, celebrating the expanding horizon of embedded systems.
Altogether, Microchip is launching 15 MCUs that range from devices with 14 to 100 pins and up to 128 KBytes flash. They sport power consumption as low as 35 ĶA/MHz active and 20 nA in sleep mode. All include 0.25 percent accurate clock sources needed for USB, eliminating the need for an external crystal.
The 14- and 20-pin PIC16F145X MCUs come in packages as small as 4 x 4 mm. They are geared for USB and capacitive touch sensing applications in systems such as pulse oxymeters, PC accessories and security dongles.
The PIC18F2X/4XK50 family has 28- and 40/44-pin members. They feature 1.8-5V operation and are aimed for use in devices such as audio docks and data loggers.
The PIC18F97J94 family is Microchipís first to offer integrated LCD control, RTCC with Vbat, and USB on a single 8-bit controller. Available in 64, 80 and 100 pins, the nine-member family offers a 60x8 LCD controller serving products such as home-automation/security panels, handheld scanners and single-phase energy meters.
The chips are all available for sampling now. Production for all families is nexpected before mid-November.
Microchip provides open source drivers for many common USB classes, including HID, CDC, Mass Storage, Win-USB and Audio-MIDI. It also provides USB developer kits for prices starting at $39.99.
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