The pull of 32-bit MCUs have always been their expansive functions and raw power, but the latest release from Microchip offers a compelling contender at an 8-bit size. The new 8-bit families have Core-Independent Peripherals, which allow the MCUs to be used in a much larger variety of interconnected CIPs that don't require a core to perform. The CIPs increase system performance with simple design and a 1.8 to 5.5V operating range.
The first of the families, the PIC16F18877 range, comes in 8 to 40-pin packages at up to 56Kb of Flash. They're appropriate for consumer applications and are also the first to use Microchip's eXtreme Low Power (XLP) technology with the IDLE and DOZE modes, which means reduced power consumption, important for the always-on aspect of IoT. They're also the first 8-bit MCUs that allow Peripheral Mode Disable, which takes the peripherals off the power rail for zero power leakage.
"These two new families are the latest examples of Microchip's leadership in the 8-bit MCU market, with the continued expansion of innovative CIPs and intelligent analog that enable functions and capabilities far beyond what traditional 8-bit MCUs could perform"-- Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip's MCU8 Division.
The second of the families, the PIC16F157x range, comes in 14 to 20-pin packages with up to 28 KB of Flash. They are the first 8-bit PIC MCUs with 16-bit PWMs that each have independent timers, useful in LED lighting and motor control.
The new 8-bit MCUs are compelling examples of the power of Flexible Intelligence Made Easy, which gives designers a much larger range of options when working with intelligent and configurable peripherals.