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. 165-4753
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F876A-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$7.722
Each (In a Tube of 27)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B - 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-8965
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF1827-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.354
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 4K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 384 B - 4 12 2 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 625-8996
Mfr. Part No.Z84C3008PEG
BrandZilog
$9.01
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 28 Z8 8bit - 8MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-8817
Mfr. Part No.STM32F373R8T6
$5.852
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 64 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 2 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 146-0179
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1840-E/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.991
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 7 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 4 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5553
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1840-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
$1.60
Each (In a Tube of 100)
units
PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 7 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 4 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 698-8971
Mfr. Part No.PIC16LF1827-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.55
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 4K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 384 B - 4 12 2 1.8 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 133-0149
Mfr. Part No.CC1310F128RGZT
$10.79
Each
units
CC13xx VQFN Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 16bit 128 kB 48MHz 20 kB - - 8 - 1.8 → 3.8 V
RS Stock No. 882-0287
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746NGH6
$19.79
Each
units
STM32F TFBGA Surface Mount 216 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 1.024 MB 216MHz 340 kB 2 2 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 144-5757
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F252-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$10.149
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 40MHz 1.536 kB - 2 5 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-7892
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K8T6
$3.124
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 48MHz 8 kB - 1 13 1 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 810-7500
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K8T6
$4.836
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 48MHz 8 kB - 1 13 1 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7170
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F88-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$5.594
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 7.168 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B - 1 7 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 880-5399
Mfr. Part No.STM32F427VIT6
$22.68
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 4 (Backup) kB, 256 (System) kB 1 2 16 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 866-8137
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F886-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$3.924
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 8.192 kB 20MHz 368 B 1 1 11 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-2047
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F252-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$9.42
Each
units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 40MHz 1.536 kB - 2 5 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 912-2991
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1501-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.199
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 words 20MHz 64 B - 4 4 - 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 379-2932
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84A-20/P
BrandMicrochip
$7.51
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 64 x 14 words, 1024 x 14 words 20MHz 68 B - - - - 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 544-1692
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.02
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 128 B, 1024 x 14 words 20MHz 64 B - - 4 - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 399-432
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F886-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
$3.84
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 8192 B 20MHz 368 B 1 1 11 1 2 → 5.5 V
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