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. 882-0281
Mfr. Part No.STM32F746VGT6
TWD492.00
Each
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. 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. 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. 912-2991
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F1501-I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD21.70
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 1024 words 20MHz 64 B - 4 4 - 2.3 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. 725-7733
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
TWD359.00
Each
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
RS Stock No. 123-9798
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ256GB106-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD154.10
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC24FJ TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 16bit 256 kB 32MHz 16 kB 1 x OTG 9 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 171-1759
Mfr. Part No.EFM8LB12F64E-B-QFP32
TWD52.90
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
EFM8LB1 QFP Surface Mount 32 CIP-51 8bit 64 kB 72MHz 4.352 kB - - 20 - 2.2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 663-4056
Mfr. Part No.M30260F8BGP
TWD251.00
Each
units
R8C LQFP Surface Mount 48 M16C/26A 16bit 64 kB 24MHz 2 kB - 1 12 - 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 400-867
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F6722-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
TWD287.00
Each
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 128 kB 40MHz 3.936 kB - 5 12 2 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 110-7088
Mfr. Part No.STM32L051K8T6
TWD97.00
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB - - 10 - 1.65 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 757-4719
Mfr. Part No.C8051F340-GQ
TWD294.00
Each
units
C8051F TQFP Surface Mount 48 8051 8bit 64 kB 48MHz 4.352 kB 2 2 17 1 2.7 → 5.25 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. 819-5323
Mfr. Part No.DSPIC30F3012-30I/P
BrandMicrochip
TWD111.70
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
DsPIC30F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 16bit 24 kB 25MHz 2.048 kB - 2 8 1 2.5 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 703-7810
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1823-I/ST
BrandMicrochip
TWD41.00
Each
units
PIC16F TSSOP Surface Mount 14 PIC 8bit 2K x 14 words, 256 B 32MHz 128 B - 1 8 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-7352
Mfr. Part No.STM32F103VDT6
TWD225.20
Each (In a Tray of 90)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 384 kB 72MHz 64 kB 1 x Device 2 16 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 170-8955
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VFK4
BrandNXP
TWD34.00
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. 739-6945
Mfr. Part No.UPD78F0455GB-GAH-AX
TWD102.00
Each
units
UPD78 LQFP Surface Mount 64 78K0 8bit 60 kB 10MHz 3 kB - 2 8 1 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 124-1562
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MM0064GPL028-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
TWD48.20
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC32 SSOP Surface Mount 28 PIC 32bit 64 kB 25MHz 8 kB - - 12 - 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-9903
Mfr. Part No.C8051F340-GQ
TWD295.90
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
C8051F TQFP Surface Mount 48 8051 8bit 64 kB 48MHz 4.352 kB 2 2 17 1 2.7 → 5.25 V