There's still plenty of life in 8-bit MCUs: Microchip's latest adds LCD driver, 12-bit ADC -

There’s still plenty of life in 8-bit MCUs: Microchip’s latest adds LCD driver, 12-bit ADC

Microchip Technology announced the PIC18F “K90” 8-bit microcontroller (MCU) family. The company claims that this represents the industry’s first and only low-power, 5-V, 8-bit MCUs that include an on-chip LCD driver module and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The MCUs are designed with Microchip's nanoWatt XLP technology for low power consumption, with sleep currents down to 20 nA. The family comes in 64- and 80-pin packages, with memory options that range from 32 to 128 kbytes of flash memory, up to 4 kbytes of RAM, and 1 kbyte of on-chip EEPROM. With 24 channels of capacitive touch sensing, these MCUs enable higher system integration, as they combine the ability to sense a large number of cap-touch sliders, buttons, and keys with the ability to drive large, segmented LCDs.

This combination of features suits the MCUs for applications in the home-automation (e.g. thermostats, security systems, in-home displays), appliance (e.g. coffee makers, ranges, refrigerators); industrial (e.g. electronic door locks, metering, HVAC controls); medical (e.g. pulse oximeters, glucometers, digital thermometers, portable health-monitoring devices); and automotive (e.g. alarm systems, keyless entry, dashboard and center-stack displays) markets.

The PIC18F “K90” MCUs are available in 64- and 80-pin TQFP and 64-pin QFN packages, with prices starting at $2.42 each in 10,000 unit quantities. Samples and volume-production quantities are available. More information is available at

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