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. 666-8630
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F722-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
TWD51.00
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 2048 x 14 words 20MHz 128 B - 2 11 1 1.8 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 144-9195
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F722-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
TWD50.30
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 2048 x 14 words 20MHz 128 B - 2 11 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-0180
Mfr. Part No.EFM8BB10F2G-A-QFN20
TWD11.70
Each (In a Tube of 120)
units
EFM8BB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 2 kB 25MHz 256 B - - 15 1 2.2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 865-6263
Mfr. Part No.EFM8BB10F2G-A-QFN20
TWD11.90
Each (In a Pack of 30)
units
EFM8BB QFN Surface Mount 20 CIP-51 8bit 2 kB 25MHz 256 B - - 15 1 2.2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 921-4545
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA328P-PU
BrandMicrochip
TWD98.90
Each (In a Tube of 14)
units
ATmega PDIP Through Hole 28 AVR 8bit 1 kB, 32 kB 20MHz 2 kB - 3 6 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 328-2025
Mfr. Part No.PIC16C54C-04/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD54.00
Each
units
PIC16C PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B - - - - 2.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 144-9117
Mfr. Part No.PIC16C54C-04/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD49.60
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16C PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B - - - - 2.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 709-4241
Mfr. Part No.LM3S1968-IQC50-A2
TWD649.00
Each
units
Stellaris LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 50MHz 64 kB - 3 8 2 2.25 → 2.75 V, 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 162-7268
Mfr. Part No.LM3S1968-IQC50-A2
TWD534.00
Each (In a Tray of 90)
units
Stellaris LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 50MHz 64 kB - 3 8 2 2.25 → 2.75 V, 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-1960
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1571-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD20.20
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1 kwords 16MHz 128 B 1 3 4 - 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 876-6714
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F887-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD75.40
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 8192 words 20MHz 368 B - 2 14 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 714-1079
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103RCT6
TWD196.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 72MHz 48 kB 1 x Device 2 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 724-9716
Mfr. Part No.STM32F107RBT6
TWD142.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 64 kB 1 x OTG 1 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 145-9610
Mfr. Part No.STM32F107RBT6
TWD158.60
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 64 kB 1 x OTG 1 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 399-410
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F887-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD76.60
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 256 B, 8192 x 14 words 20MHz 368 B - 2 14 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 814-3067
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1571-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD22.00
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1 kwords 16MHz 128 B 1 3 4 - 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-9607
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103RCT6
TWD156.90
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 72MHz 48 kB 1 x Device 2 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 829-1024
Mfr. Part No.R5F10WMGAFB#30
TWD126.00
Each
units
RL78 LQFP Surface Mount 80 RL78 16bit 4 kB, 128 kB 24MHz 8 kB - 1 12 2 1.6 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 791-7744
Mfr. Part No.STM32F207VGT6TR
TWD302.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 1 MB 120MHz 128 kB 1 2 24 3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-6817
Mfr. Part No.STM32F207VFT6
TWD264.70
Each (In a Tray of 540)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 768 kB 120MHz 128 kB 2 2(4 x 16 bit) 16 3 3.6 V