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. 899-6928
Mfr. Part No.ATXMEGA64A3U-AU
BrandMicrochip
HK$34.04
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
ATxmega TQFP Surface Mount 64 AVR 64bit 68 kB 32MHz 4 kB 1 7 16 - 1.6 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 887-7145
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4620-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
HK$46.041
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.986 kB - 2 13 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 914-8158
Mfr. Part No.STM32F410RBT6
HK$28.98
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
STM32 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 100MHz 32 kB - - 16 - 1.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 793-1392
Mfr. Part No.STM8S003F3P6
HK$4.145
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
STM8S TSSOP Surface Mount 20 STM8 8bit 8 kB 16MHz 1 kB - 1 5 1 6.5 V
RS Stock No. 817-3948
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1947T-I/MR
BrandMicrochip
HK$18.786
Each (On a Reel of 3300)
units
PIC16F QFN Surface Mount 64 PIC16F 8bit 28 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB 1 2 17 2 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0421
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F690-I/P
BrandMicrochip
HK$16.77
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 20 PIC 8bit 256 B, 4096 x 14 words 20MHz 256 B - - 12 1 2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4782
Mfr. Part No.PIC16C711-20I/P
BrandMicrochip
HK$30.84
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
PIC16C PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1K x 14 words 20MHz 68 B - - 4 - 2.5 → 6 V
RS Stock No. 526-8986
Mfr. Part No.C8051F020-GQ
HK$142.13
Each
units
C8051F TQFP Surface Mount 100 8051 8bit 64 kB 25MHz 4.352 kB - 5 8 1 2.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0847
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4620-I/P
BrandMicrochip
HK$45.07
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.986 kB - 2 13 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 755-9354
Mfr. Part No.PIC24EP512GU810-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
HK$73.42
Each
units
PIC24EP TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 16bit 536 kB 70MHz 52 kB 1 - 32 4 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 914-0087
Mfr. Part No.XMC1302T038X0064AAXUMA1
BrandInfineon
HK$21.862
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
XMC1000 TSSOP Surface Mount 38 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 66.4MHz 16 kB - - 16 - 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 723-9769
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1947-I/MR
BrandMicrochip
HK$22.71
Each
units
PIC16F QFN Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 28 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB, 256 B - 5 17 2 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5843
Mfr. Part No.PIC24EP512GU810-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
HK$60.99
Each (In a Tray of 119)
units
PIC24EP TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 16bit 536 kB 70MHz 52 kB 1 - 32 4 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 178-4890
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F1947-I/MR
BrandMicrochip
HK$20.79
Each (In a Tube of 40)
units
PIC16F QFN Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 28 kB 32MHz 1.024 kB, 256 B - 5 17 2 1.8 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4769
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F73-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
HK$29.95
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC16F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 4K x 14 words 20MHz 192 B - 2 5 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 476-208
Mfr. Part No.LPC2148FBD64,151
BrandNXP
HK$134.75
Each
units
LPC21 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 60MHz 40 kB 1 x Device 1 14 2 3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 623-0724
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2550-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
HK$37.76
Each
units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 10 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7182
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F2550-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
HK$34.113
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 10 1 4.2 to 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 328-3387
Mfr. Part No.PIC16C711-20I/P
BrandMicrochip
HK$23.40
Each
units
PIC16C PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 1K x 14 words 20MHz 68 B - - 4 - 2.5 to 6 V
RS Stock No. 400-295
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F716-I/P
BrandMicrochip
HK$9.944
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 2048 x 14 words 20MHz 128 B - 1 4 - 2 to 5.5 V