Electronica: Microchip’s new MCU family targets core independent peripherals

Electronica 2014 – Microchip has expanded its 8-bit PIC microcontroller (MCU) portfolio, with the peripheral-rich, low-pin count PIC16(L)F161X family.  The new MCUs introduce and expand the offering of Microchip’s Core Independent Peripherals (CIP), which were designed to reduce interrupt latency, lower-power consumption and increase system efficiency, and safety, while minimizing design time and effort. 

These peripherals are designed to reduce system complexity by eliminating the need for additional code and external components.  Hardware-based peripherals offload timing-critical and core-intensive functions from the CPU, allowing it to focus on other critical tasks within the system.

The PIC16(L)F161X PIC MCUs include the Math Accelerator (Math ACC) with Proportional Integral Derivative (PID), offering completely core independent calculations, with the capability to perform 16-bit math and PID operations.  The family also includes the Angular Timer (AngTmr), which is a hardware module that calculates the rotational angle in functions, such as motor control, TRIAC control, or Capacitive Discharge Ignition (CDI) systems.  Regardless of speed, the AngTmr allows recurring interrupts at a specific rotational or sinusoidal angle without using the core’s computation.The CIPs can be configured to perform a host of given functions that increase execution speeds and decrease software requirements. Offloading these functions frees up the CPU do other tasks, consumes less program memory, and reduces the overall power consumption of the MCU.

This family also includes the Zero Cross Detect (ZCD) module, which can monitor AC line voltage, and indicate zero crossing activity.  Simplifying TRIAC control applications, greatly reducing both CPU demand and BOM cost.  In combination with the new High-Current I/Os (100 mA) and the proven Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) along with I2C™, SPI and EUSART for communications, this integration helps speed design, eases implementation and adds flexibility.

The new MCUs support the implementation of safety standards such as Class B and UL 1998 or fail-safe operations by combining the Windowed Watchdog Timer (WWDT) which monitors proper software operation within predefined limits, improving reliability and Cyclic Redundancy Check with Memory Scan (CRC/SCAN) that detects and scans memory for corrupted data.Along with the Hardware Limit Timers (HLT), which detects hardware fault conditions (stall, stop, etc.), engineers can now enable safety and monitoring functions to their applications with minimum to zero involvement of the CPU.  Along with all these features, the family offers low-power XLP technology and is provided in small-form-factor packages, ranging from 8-, 14- and 20- pin packages.

Pricing for the family starts at $0.53 each, in 10,000-unit quantities.

More information PIC16(L)F161X

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