Chandler, Ariz. Microchip Technology Inc. has launched its first family of 16-bit PIC microcontrollers called the PIC24 to address the growing performance needs of embedded designers. There are 22 general-purpose devices that offer up to 40 MIPS performance, 16 Kbytes of RAM, 256 Kbytes of flash program memory, and up to 100-pin packages.
The family is comprised of two series. The 16 MIPS PIC24F offers a cost-effective step up in performance, memory and peripherals for many applications that are pushing the envelope of 8-bit microcontroller capabilities. For more demanding applications, the PIC24H offers 40 MIPS performance, more memory and additional peripherals, such as CAN communication modules.
Design engineers are faced with the ever-growing challenge to meet market demands for increased performance and features at a fast pace, while hitting design-to-cost goals. The PIC24 delivers increased performance without sacrificing the architecture attributes that embedded designers require, including interrupt flexibility and responsiveness, code execution predictability, easy I/O manipulation, C code efficiency and system integrity. “Meeting the design challenges that customers face is the primary objective of the PIC24 family,” said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division.
As with all Microchip microcontroller families, the PIC24 is designed to meet a wide range of design engineering needs across a broad spectrum of industries. Specific application examples include: consumer (security-system control panel, handheld remote control); communications (optical network components); instrumentation/measurement (hand-held and remote terminals, POS terminals, medical instruments and monitoring); industrial (factory automation systems, building monitor-and-control systems, security/access systems, office automation).
The PIC24 maintains compatibility with Microchip’s universal MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) development-tool platform and software compatibility with all dsPIC digital signal controllers for a simplified upward migration path. In addition, the PIC24 family is supported by existing Microchip development tools such as the MPLAB C30 C compiler, an emulator and the MPLAB PM3 universal device programmer. Microchip also created the Explorer 16 Development board in support of all 16-bit PIC24 microcontrollers and 16-bit dsPIC digital signal controllers. The Explorer 16 (part # DM240001) is priced at $129.99. Finally, third-party support for the PIC24 family is planned for calendar Q4 2005, including Hi Tech’s C compiler, and a programmer from DATA I/O.
Selected members of the new PIC24F family are available today for early-adopter sampling. General sampling for all 22 of the PIC24F and PIC24H microcontrollers is expected to begin in calendar Q1 2006, and volume production is planned to start in calendar Q2 2006.
Unit pricing for the PIC24F in 10k quantities starts at $4.55. Unit pricing for the PIC24H in 10k quantities starts at $5.16.
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