Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers, also referred to as MCUs (microcontroller units), are embedded semiconductor devices used in circuit board design. They are essentially a computer within an integrated circuit (IC). Microcontrollers are mostly used in single-function embedded applications, unlike microprocessors which are designed for general-purpose work in Personal Computers, Tablets and Smartphones. Microcontrollers are limited in their clock speed compared to microprocessors by the relative slowness of their non-volatile Flash program memory. Learn more in our microcontrollers guide.

What are Microcontrollers made up of?

Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors, plus memory and I/O peripherals. These peripherals include timers, ADCs (analogue-to-digital converters) and DACs (digital-to-analogue converters).

What does 8-bit mean?

Microcontrollers have a data bus width which describes the amount of data the MCU can process at a time. For example, an 8-bit microcontroller can process 8 bits at one time. Popular data bus widths include 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit MCUs.

What packages are available for Microcontrollers?

MCUs come in standard chip packages with various pin counts. Package types include:

  • LQFP
  • PDIP
  • QFN
  • SOIC
  • SSOP
  • TQFP
  • TSSOP

What are ARM processor cores?

Microcontrollers often contain an ARM microprocessor core. ARM represents an architecture developed by ARM Holdings, which is used by other companies to manufacture microprocessors and other devices such as System-on-Chip (SoCs).

  • Cortex-M0
  • Cortex-M0+
  • Cortex-M1
  • Cortex-M3
  • Cortex-M4
  • Cortex-M7
  • Cortex-M23
  • Cortex-M33
  • Cortex-M35P

Where are microcontrollers used?

MCUs can be found in many technologies and any electronic device containing a sensor, a display, a user interface and a programmable output control or actuator is likely to feature an MCU. They can be found in the following areas:

  • Computers
  • Automotive
  • Robotics
  • Automation
  • Medical equipment
  • Home appliances
  • IoT devices

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Description Price Family Name Package Type Mounting Type Pin Count Device Core Data Bus Width Program Memory Size Maximum Frequency RAM Size USB Channels Number of PWM Units ADC Channels Number of SPI Channels Typical Operating Supply Voltage
RS Stock No. 169-8229
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
$9.952
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - 0 - - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 625-9078
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0010PEG
BrandZilog
$11.07
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 10MHz - 0 - - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-3476
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1826-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$2.131
Each (In a Tube of 42)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 256 B, 2K x 14 words 32MHz 256 B 0 1 - 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-2249
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-20I/P
BrandMicrochip
$9.02
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 64 x 14 words 20MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4747
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-20I/P
BrandMicrochip
$9.02
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 64 x 14 words 20MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5263
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F25K80-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$4.615
Each (In a Tube of 27)
units
PIC18F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 - 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 715-4618
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F25K80-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$4.44
Each
units
PIC18F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 - 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 698-8947
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1826-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$1.53
Each
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 256 B, 2K x 14 words 32MHz 256 B 0 1 - 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 911-5836
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F54-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.40
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 20MHz 25 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5200
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F688-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.497
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 4096 x 14 words, 256 B 20MHz 256 B 0 - - 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0213
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F54-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.45
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 20MHz 25 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0392
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F688-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$4.72
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 256 B, 4096 x 14 words 20MHz 256 B 0 - - 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 919-6324
Mfr. Part No.STM32F429IIT6
$28.862
Each (In a Tray of 40)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 176 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 256 kB 2 2 x 16 bit - 6 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 792-6035
Mfr. Part No.STM32F429IIT6
$32.29
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 176 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 256 kB 2 2 x 16 bit - 6 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 144-9134
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-04I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$7.578
Each (In a Tube of 42)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 64 x 14 words 4MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 111-6471
Mfr. Part No.STM32F769BIT6
$37.37
Each
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 2.048 MB 216MHz 512 kB 2 - - - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 379-2926
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-04I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$8.21
Each
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 64 x 14 words 4MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 166-0971
Mfr. Part No.STM32F769BIT6
$27.591
Each (In a Tray of 360)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 208 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 2.048 MB 216MHz 512 kB 2 - - - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 912-6772
Mfr. Part No.PIC10F202-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$0.919
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC10F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 24 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-0186
Mfr. Part No.EFM8SB10F8G-A-QFN20
$1.133
Each (In a Tube of 100)
units
EFM8SB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 8 kB 25MHz 512 B 0 - - 1 2.4 V