Chandler, Ariz. - For memory-hungry applications, including those that require a complex user interface, Microchip Technology Inc. has launched a family of microcontrollers sporting up to 128 kbytes (1 Mbit) of flash memory. The PIC18F6720 and PIC-18F8720 offer 128 kbytes of flash, while the PIC18F6620 and PIC18F8620 pack 64 kbytes. All four also offer 1,024 bytes of E2PROM memory for data storage, and at 40 MHz they can operate at up to 10 Mips.
The devices are socket-, software- and peripheral-compatible with other controllers in Microchip's PIC18 family, but product-marketing manager Cheri Keller said the new MCUs offer "field self-programmability," plus larger memory and data arrays, a higher pin count and a more feature-rich peripheral set than previous products.
These and future large-memory microcontrollers will target high-end applications, such as motor control, cable modems, ballast control, TCP/IP controllers, packet-over-Sonet terminals, voice/fax boards, Internet appliances, GPS units, security systems and high-end thermostats, she said.
The field-programmability feature-known as in-circuit serial programming-lets programmers develop the parts after the parts have been placed in a circuit board. Keller said the feature reduces development time and improves time-to-market. It also lowers the cost of field upgrades, system calibration during manufacturing and adding identification codes.
These MCUs enable a 1-Mbit array to be fully erased and programmed in less than 2 seconds, Keller said. An individual word can be erased and programmed in less than 3 milliseconds. The devices are specified for more than 1 million data-memory erase/ write cycles and more than 100,000 program-memory erase/write cycles, with 40 years of data retention.
The MCUs are supported by a peripheral set that includes a 10-bit, 16-channel analog-to-digital converter; five capture/compare/pulse-width modulation modules; two 8-bit and three 16-bit timers; dual analog comparators, and a parallel slave port. Operating voltage range is 2 to 5.5 V.
The devices are equipped with programmable brown-out detection and reset; a watchdog timer; a programmable, 16-level low-voltage detection module; a 32-kHz secondary oscillator clock input, and a 4x phase-locked loop. Serial I/O features include SPI, I2C and addressable USART modules that support RS-485 and RS-232.
The four MCUs are available in 64- and 80-lead thin quad flat packs. In quantities of 10,000, the PIC18F6620 is priced at $7.94, the PIC18F6720 is $8.82, the PIC18F8620 is $8.05 and the PIC18F8720 is $8.96. Samples are expected in December and volume shipments are planned for April 2002.
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EETInfo No. 624