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.

What are they made up of?

Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors (sometimes referred to as CPUs), 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 there?

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?

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

...
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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. 687-8688
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-E/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.21
Each
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 128 B, 1024 x 14 words 20MHz 64 B - - 4 - 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5976
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-E/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.311
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 128 B, 1024 x 14 words 20MHz 64 B - - 4 - 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 625-9084
Mfr. Part No.Z84C2006PEG
BrandZilog
$8.84
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 6.17MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 146-0282
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF1513-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
$1.881
Each (In a Tube of 47)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 4096 words 20MHz 256 B - 2 17 1 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-8230
Mfr. Part No.Z84C2006PEG
BrandZilog
$7.84
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z80 8bit - 6.17MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0027
Mfr. Part No.PIC10F202-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.07
Each
units
PIC10F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 24 B - - - - 2 to 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 - - 9 1 2.4 V
RS Stock No. 825-1085
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF1513-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
$2.046
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 4096 words 20MHz 256 B - 2 17 1 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 126-2151
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F27K40-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$3.278
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC18F SDIP Surface Mount 28 PIC18 8bit 128 kB 64MHz 3.728 kB - 1 24 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 666-9826
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F13K22-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.265
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 8 kB, 256 B 64MHz 256 B - 1 12 1 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4722
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F913-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$4.656
Each (In a Tube of 27)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 7 kB, 256 B 20MHz 256 B - 1 5 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0358
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F684-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.79
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 256 B, 2048 x 14 words 20MHz 128 B - - 8 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0522
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F913-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$4.65
Each
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 7 kB, 256 B 20MHz 256 B - 1 5 1 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4762
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F13K22-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.267
Each (In a Tube of 22)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 8 kB, 256 B 64MHz 256 B - 1 12 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7325
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.41
Each (In a Tube of 22)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 256 B, 4096 x 14 words 20MHz 256 B - - 12 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7353
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F684-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.904
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 14 PIC 8bit 256 B, 2048 x 14 words 20MHz 128 B - - 8 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0421
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$3.58
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 256 B, 4096 x 14 words 20MHz 256 B - - 12 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 698-8943
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1826-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.45
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 256 B - 1 12 1 1.8 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-3457
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1826-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.20
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 256 B - 1 12 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5351
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F508-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.076
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12 PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
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