This New Product Brief (NPB) is part of a video series highlighting the features, applications, and technical specs of newly-released products.

Microchip's Curiosity High Pin Count Development Board is an extensible development board for Microchip's 8-bit PICs in 28- or 40-pin PDIP Packages. It’s an ideal platform for developing low cost, low power IoT devices. You might wonder why you would want to use an 8-bit PIC instead of a 16- or 32-bit MCU. The board includes the PIC16F18875 so we'll use that as an example to highlight some of the advantages of an 8-bit PIC.

First, the device leverages Microchip’s Core Independent Peripherals. These include configurable logic, complementary waveform generation, numerically controlled oscillators, and more, and once initialized they run independently of the MCU. You also get an ADC with Computation, and this automates post-processing of signals that are sampled, including averaging and filtering, oversampling, and threshold comparison. Both the Core Independent Peripherals and the ADC with Computation reduce your code complexity and development time because they're all run on hardware, requiring no code or supervision from the core.

You also get very low power consumption. In the case of the PIC16F18875, it includes Microchip’s XLP technology, with a sleep mode that draws just 50 nA at 1.8 V, and in operation, it consumes 32 µA/MHz at 1.8 volts. So you get very, very low power consumption compared to what you see with 16- or 32-bit cores. Finally, they're very cost effective.

The Curiosity High Pin Count Development Board itself accommodates 28 pin and 40 pin PICs, with up to 36 IOs, and it's compatible with some of the highest pin count 8-bit pics available. There are also two mikroBUS headers so you can easily add Click boards for rapid prototyping and development, with hundreds of Click boards available, including sensing, communication, and motor control, and all of these are available as off the shelf options so you can start developing right away. But, you also have access to all the pins through expansion headers so you can develop your own custom hardware if needed. A PICKit onboard programmer/debugger provides plug and play compatibility with MPLAB X and Code Configurator.

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