8-bit PIC gives much more, for much, much less

YouTube Preview Image

In an era of Gen 3 22nm Core i7 quad-core Intel CPUs or ultra low-power ARM ASSPs for Android smart phones, it might seem – well, boring – to read about an 8-banger. Afterall, it’s got a measly one core, only 8-bits, and it’s available in a tiny 4 x 4 x 0.5 mm UQFN package. "Ho-hum," you say?

Well, according to analysts and heavyweights like Microsoft and Intel, the lion’s share of the Internet Cloud’s Intelligent Connected Systems are going to be in the ho-hum M2M space. That’s comprised of end-point nodes like motor controllers running irrigation pumps with IPV6 addresses that can phone home how much water they’ve pumped that day (and if the bearings are running a little hot); late night vending machines that report more sales of sugar-free Rock Star beverages after the near-by concert venue empties out; or home garage door openers that alert the furnace and kitchen lights to turn on as the door is rolling up when mom swings into the driveway at the end of a long winter day.

Microchip recognizes the explosive growth in the "boring" M2M space and is packing their PIC MCUs with advanced analog and digital integration features. A full 98 percent of the PIC16F178X’s die real estate is peripherals (only 2 percent is the processor core) including: 12-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, Op Amps, and 50ns response time rail-to-rail comparators. This PIC is designed for closed-loop control systems including motor control, LED/fluorescent lighting such as buck converters, smart battery chargers (like the one I just installed on a friend’s yacht), and DC-DC/AC-DC switch-mode power supplies. But perhaps the device’s most unique feature is the advanced 16-bit Programmable Switch Mode Controller (PSMC) complete with a 64MHz clock designed as a super accurate PWM for efficiently controlling analog and digital loads while reducing the number of external components like inductors.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • TwitThis


Extension Media websites place cookies on your device to give you the best user experience. By using our websites, you agree to placement of these cookies and to our Privacy Policy. Please click here to accept.