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. 889-5238
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1822-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
TWD28.20
Each (In a Tube of 100)
units
PIC12 SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 128 B - 1 4 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 402-279
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103C8T6
TWD162.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 64 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 916-3734
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD28.50
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 625-8918
Mfr. Part No.Z84C0008PEG
BrandZilog
TWD159.00
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 40 Z8 8bit - 8MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4174
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F18313-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD26.50
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 32MHz 256 B - 1 5 - 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 703-7885
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1822-I/SN
BrandMicrochip
TWD35.00
Each
units
PIC12 SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 128 B - 1 4 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 102-3545
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103C8T6
TWD126.20
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 64 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 625-8996
Mfr. Part No.Z84C3008PEG
BrandZilog
TWD161.00
Each
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 28 Z8 8bit - 8MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-6735
Mfr. Part No.STM32F302CBT6
TWD109.50
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 1 8 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-8228
Mfr. Part No.Z84C3008PEG
BrandZilog
TWD157.00
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
Z80 PDIP Through Hole 28 Z8 8bit - 8MHz - - - - - 4.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 823-4472
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-E/ST
BrandMicrochip
TWD30.30
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC16F TSSOP Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 20MHz 128 B 1 4 8 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 628-3431
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA8L-8AU
BrandMicrochip
TWD85.00
Each
units
ATmega TQFP Surface Mount 32 AVR 8bit 8 kB, 512 B 8MHz 1 kB - 2 8 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 786-4003
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1455-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
TWD52.40
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 14 kB 48MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 5 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 146-0212
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1455-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
TWD44.80
Each (In a Tube of 57)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 14 kB 48MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 5 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 919-6260
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6
TWD32.20
Each (In a Tube of 74)
units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 11 1 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0099
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F509-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD25.00
Each
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 12 words 4MHz 41 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 761-7517
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1501-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD24.00
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 words 20MHz 64 B - 4 4 - 2.3 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-3456
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/ST
BrandMicrochip
TWD25.40
Each (In a Tube of 96)
units
PIC16F TSSOP Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 755-9445
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/ST
BrandMicrochip
TWD25.80
Each (In a Pack of 4)
units
PIC16F TSSOP Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-8744
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6TR
TWD20.20
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - - 11 1 2.4 → 3.6 V