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. 328-3983
Mfr. Part No.PIC17C44-33I/P
BrandMicrochip
$20.49
Each
units
PIC17 PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 8K x 16 words 33MHz 454 B 0 2 - 0 4.5 to 5.5 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 0 0 8 - 1.8 → 3.8 V
RS Stock No. 912-3039
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1509-E/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.64
Each (In a Tube of 22)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 8192 words 20MHz 512 B 0 4 12 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 625-8996
Mfr. Part No.Z84C3008PEG
BrandZilog
$9.01
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 28 Z8 8bit - 8MHz - 0 - - 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 872-2474
Mfr. Part No.PIC12C509A-04/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.941
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12C PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 12 words 4MHz 41 B 0 - - 0 3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 629-5046
Mfr. Part No.XC8664FRIBEFXUMA1
BrandInfineon
$3.51
Each
units
XC866 TSSOP Surface Mount 38 8051 8bit 12 Kb, 4 Kb 26.7MHz 256 B, 512 B 0 1 8 0 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 761-7517
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1501-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.362
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 words 20MHz 64 B 0 4 4 0 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-1612
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F876A-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
$6.76
Each
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7195
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F629-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$1.784
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - - 0 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 793-1392
Mfr. Part No.STM8S003F3P6
$1.28
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
STM8S TSSOP Surface Mount 20 STM8 8bit 8 kB 16MHz 1 kB 0 1 5 1 6.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7164
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F675-I/P
BrandMicrochip
$2.01
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - 4 0 2 to 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 0 4 4 0 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-4935
Mfr. Part No.CC1310F128RGZT
$7.667
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
CC13xx VQFN Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 16bit 128 kB 48MHz 20 kB 0 0 8 - 1.8 → 3.8 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. 601-6714
Mfr. Part No.HD64F2144FA20-V
$54.25
Each
units
H8S PQFP Surface Mount 100 H8S/2000 16/32bit 128 kB 20MHz 4 kB 0 2 16 0 4.5 → 5.5 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 0 1 13 1 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 920-6399
Mfr. Part No.STM32F051K8T6TR
$2.266
Each (On a Reel of 2400)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 48MHz 8 kB 0 1 16 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 829-0116
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1716-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
$2.266
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 8192 words 32MHz 1.024 kB 0 2 25 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 328-3775
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F84-04I/P
BrandMicrochip
$8.84
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1K x 14 words, 64 B 4MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 4 → 6 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 1024 x 14 words, 128 B 20MHz 64 B 0 - 4 0 2 to 5.5 V
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