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. 165-3456
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. 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
RS Stock No. 792-5934
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030R8T6
TWD58.00
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 48MHz 8 kB - 1 18 2 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 755-9449
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
TWD24.00
Each (In a Pack of 3)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 882-0290
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746ZGT6
TWD467.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 1.024 MB 216MHz 340 kB 2 2 24 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 889-5477
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K80-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD84.70
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 32 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 11 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 402-273
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103CBT6
TWD174.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 x Device 1 10 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 819-0735
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K80T-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD85.90
Each (On a Reel of 1200)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC18F 8bit 32 kB 64MHz 3.648 kB 1 4 11 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 166-0921
Mfr. Part No.STM32L031K6T7
TWD66.10
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 32 kB 32MHz 8 kB - - 10 - 1.65 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 889-5853
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F509-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD20.70
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 x 12 words 4MHz 41 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 829-7151
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030F4P6TR
TWD41.30
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
STM32F TSSOP Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 16 kB 48MHz 4 kB - - 11 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 719-3972
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA644PA-PU
BrandMicrochip
TWD192.00
Each
units
ATmega PDIP Through Hole 40 AVR 8bit 2 kB, 64 kB 20MHz 4 kB - 3 8 1 1.8 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-5412
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746VGT6
TWD331.60
Each (In a Tray of 540)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M7 32bit 1.024 MB 216MHz 340 kB 2 2 16 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-6667
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103TBU6
TWD148.20
Each (In a Tray of 490)
units
STM32F VFQFPN Surface Mount 36 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 20 kB 1 1 10 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. 840-6588
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VWJ4
BrandNXP
TWD37.20
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
Kinetis E SOIC Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB - 2 12 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 170-8959
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VWJ4
BrandNXP
TWD36.50
Each (In a Tube of 38)
units
Kinetis E SOIC Surface Mount 20 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB - 2 12 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 628-3425
Mfr. Part No.ATMEGA8535L-8PU
BrandMicrochip
TWD177.00
Each
units
ATmega PDIP Through Hole 40 AVR 8bit 8 kB, 512 B 8MHz 512 B - 2 8 1 2.7 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 715-4191
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K80-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD104.00
Each
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 32 kB 64MHz 1.024 kB, 3.648 kB - 2 11 1 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 889-5547
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
TWD21.70
Each (In a Tube of 57)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B - 4 10 1 2.3 → 5.5 V