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Crystal-free USB microcontrollers offer substantial system cost savings

Microchip Technology : 24 September, 2012  (New Product)
Microchip announces the expansion of its certified full-speed USB2.0 Device PIC microcontroller portfolio with three new enhanced midrange 8-bit families. These comprise 15 scalable MCUs ranging from 14 to 100 pins with up to 128kB of Flash. All feature internal clock sources with the 0.25% clock accuracy necessary for USB communication, which saves up to $0.15 by eliminating the need for an external crystal.
Crystal-free USB microcontrollers offer substantial system cost savings

In addition, all three families are Extreme Low Power compliant, with power consumption down to 35µA/MHz Active and 20nA in Sleep mode. These crystal-free USB microcontrollers are the first to be offered with pin-counts ranging from 14 to 100 combined with such a high level of integration and low power consumption.

The 14- and 20-pin PIC16F145X MCUs are Microchip’s lowest-cost and smallest-form-factor USB MCUs to date.  Available in packages as small as 4x4mm and featuring a wide array of integrated peripherals, the three-member family enables embedded applications that require USB connectivity in addition to capacitive touch sensing, such as pulse oxymeters, PC accessories and security dongles.

The PIC18F2X/4XK50 devices, available in 28- and 40/44-pin packages, offer a cost-effective, pin-compatible migration option for customers using legacy PIC18 USB MCUs.  The three family members feature 1.8-5V operation, and integrate a Charge Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) for higher performance capacitive-touch sensing as well as measurement in applications such as audio docks and data loggers.

The full-featured PIC18F97J94 family is Microchip’s first to offer integrated LCD control, RTCC with Vbat, and USB on a single 8-bit PIC microcontroller.  Available in 64-, 80- and 100-pin packages, the nine-member family offers a 60x8 LCD controller, for a total of 480 segments, which eliminates the need for an external controller in applications with large segmented displays.  The family also integrates a real-time clock/calendar with battery back-up for end products such as home-automation or security panels, handheld scanners and single-phase energy meters.

To help to reduce development times, the downloadable and open-source USB Framework within the free Microchip Library of Applications (MLA) includes USB drivers for many common USB classes, including HID, CDC, Mass Storage, Win-USB and Audio-MIDI.  These drivers can be used with all 15 of the new PIC MCUs.

In addition to providing free USB software drivers and stacks, Microchip hardware development tools are available for purchase. The Low Pin Count USB Development Kit (DM164127) priced at $39.99, is available now, for use with the PIC16F145X family. The PICDEM FS-USB Board (DM163025-1), priced at $59.99, is expected to be available in October, for use with the PIC18FXXK50 family.

Full-Speed USB Plug-in Modules (PIMs) are expected to be available in November for the PIC18F97J94 and PIC18F87J94. Priced at $45 each, the PIMs can operate standalone or in conjunction with Microchip’s existing LCD Explorer Development Board (DM240314), priced at $125, for the PIC18F97J94; and the PIC18 Explorer Development System (DV164136), priced at $165, for the PIC18F87J94. 

Key Facts:
• Three scalable, eXtreme Low-Power families offer substantial system cost savings by eliminating external crystal
• First crystal-free USB microcontrollers to offer pin-counts ranging from 14 to 100 combined with high integration and low power consumption
• Includes Microchip’s lowest-cost and smallest-form-factor USB MCUs
• First 8-bit PIC MCUs to integrate LCD control, RTCC with Vbat, and USB on a single chip

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