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. 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. 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. 889-5547
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1503-I/SL
BrandMicrochip
TWD24.50
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
RS Stock No. 170-8955
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VFK4
BrandNXP
TWD37.20
Each (In a Tray of 490)
units
Kinetis E QFN Surface Mount 24 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB - 2 12 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-9774
Mfr. Part No.LPC11U35FHI33/501,
BrandNXP
TWD118.10
Each (In a Tray of 490)
units
LPC11U QFN Surface Mount 33 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 12 kB 1 - 8 2 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 887-7268
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4520-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD137.90
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB - 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 791-8144
Mfr. Part No.LPC11U35FHI33/501,
BrandNXP
TWD160.50
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
LPC11U QFN Surface Mount 33 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 12 kB 1 - 8 2 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 623-0083
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F508-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD23.00
Each
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 512 x 12 words 4MHz 25 B - - - - 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 840-6576
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VFK4
BrandNXP
TWD48.50
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
Kinetis E QFN Surface Mount 24 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB - 2 12 1 2.7 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0819
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4520-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD143.00
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB - 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 103-8048
Mfr. Part No.LPC1754FBD80,551
BrandNXP
TWD209.10
Each (In a Tray of 119)
units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 80 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 128 kB 100MHz 32 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 6 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 168-4935
Mfr. Part No.CC1310F128RGZT
TWD151.50
Each (On a Reel of 250)
units
CC13xx VQFN Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M3 16bit 128 kB 48MHz 20 kB - - 8 - 1.8 3.8 V
RS Stock No. 145-8996
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1507-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
TWD30.00
Each (In a Tube of 67)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 20MHz 128 B - 1 12 - 2.3 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 876-7118
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F6722-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD273.50
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 128 kB, 1024 B 40MHz 3.936 kB - 5 12 2 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 663-3861
Mfr. Part No.UPD78F0455GB-GAH-AX
TWD186.00
Each
units
78K0 LQFP Surface Mount 64 78K0 8bit 60 kB 10MHz 2 kB - 2 8 - 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 687-9348
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX795F512L-80I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD328.00
Each
units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 32bit 12 kB, 512 kB 80MHz 128 kB 1 x Device 5 16 4 2.3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 915-8763
Mfr. Part No.EFM8LB12F64E-B-QFP32
TWD65.80
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
EFM8LB1 QFP Surface Mount 32 CIP-51 8bit 64 kB 72MHz 4.352 kB - - 20 - 2.2 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 792-6035
Mfr. Part No.STM32F429IIT6
TWD522.00
Each
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 176 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 2.048 MB 180MHz 256 kB 2 2 24 6 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 103-8049
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
TWD321.90
Each (In a Tube of 90)
units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V