Chandler, Ariz. Microchip Technology has beefed-up its 8-bit PIC family of microcontrollers for embedded applications with the launching of a new device that offers IEEE 802.3-compliant Ethernet communications peripherals: an on-chip Medium Access Controller (MAC) and Physical Layer Device (PHY).
The new PIC18F97J60 device packs Microchip's 10 MIPS PIC18 high-end MCU with a complete Ethernet controller. Designers can now have network connectivity in 64- to 100-pin packages that is more cost effective and easy to use than multi-chip Ethernet alternatives. And, Microchip offers a free TCP/IP software stack to reduce development time.
Among the features of the unit is its dedicated 8-Kbyte Ethernet buffer that enables efficient packet storage, retrieval and modification, and reduces memory requirements for the integrated microcontroller. The device also has 128 Kbytes of flash and 4 Kbytes SRAM. The large memory accommodates TCP/IP stack with Web server, leaving ample space for user application code.
For details of the chip, see block diagram below.
The Microchip announcement comes on the heels of a similar device from Taiwan-based ASIX Electronics Corp.. Anounced in June, that company's AX110xx family of 8-bit microcontrollers embed 10/100Mbps fast Ethernet MAC/PHY, a TCP/IP accelerator, and flash memory on a single chip. The AX11001/AX11005 and AX11015 MCUs tout a single-cycle pipelined 8051/80390 core (up to 100MIPS), 128 to 512 KBytes flash memory, and 32KBytes RAM. The embedded Ethernet PHY supports Auto-MDIX, which allows either the straight-through or crossover cables to be directly connected to the device easily.
The AX110xx family supports serial communication interfaces such as I2C, SPI bus, three UART (with one supporting 921.6Kbps), and 1-wire. The parallel interfaces supported include external memory interface, local bus, and Ethernet MII. The MCUs have been designed to provide a very small form-factor solution to enable embedded system designers to design compact, low power, high performance yet low cost embedded and industrial Ethernet systems and subsystems for the growing embedded networking markets.
"The need to access embedded applications remotely using Ethernet can be fully realized through the selection of the PIC18F97J60 family," said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division.
Ethernet is the leading networking technology for local area networks (LANs), and it can be used to connect embedded devices through a LAN to the Internet. By adding Ethernet connectivity to an embedded system, microcontrollers can distribute data over a network and can be controlled remotely. Ethernet's infrastructure, performance, interoperability, scalability and ease of development have made it a standard choice for embedded communications.
In the RoHS-compliant packages listed below, nine members of the PIC18F97J60 microcontroller family are available now for general sampling at starting at $4.24 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The PIC18F97J60/96J65/96J60 comes in a 100-pin TQFP; the PIC18F87J60/86J65/86J60 in an 80-pin TQFP while the PIC18F67J60/66J65/66J60 units are each offered in a 64-pin TQFP.
The PIC18F97J60 PICDEM.net 2 Demonstration Board (part # DM163024), available now, was created specifically to speed development with these new integrated microcontrollers. And, the latest version of Microchip's free PIC18 TCP/IP Ethernet Stack can be downloaded at
For additional information visit Microchip's Web site at
Microchip Technology Inc. 1-888.MCU-MCHIP