Microcontrollers – whether 8, 16 or 32bit – are all around us: at home, at work, in our cars and in industrial systems. Reflecting this abundance, the market for microcontrollers is worth more than $16billion a year and growing strongly.

The market was once dominated by 8bit parts, but the price performance advantage of ARM based 32bit devices, along with the need to accommodate more complex software, is starting a move from 8bit to 32bit mcus. And this is accompanied by the appearance of multicore devices.

In this section, New Electronics brings you the latest on the microcontroller market.

Lowest power, cost-effective PIC32 family with core independent peripherals

Microchip Technology has announced the company’s lowest power and most cost-effective family of 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs). The Microchip PIC32MM family is claimed to bridge the gap between the company’s PIC24F XLP and PIC32MX families. The family is said to be the first PIC32 to feature core independent peripherals, designed to offload the CPU for lower power and lower system design. The PIC32MM devices are supported by the Microchip MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC) to help simplify and accelerate designs.

16bit MCU for hand held card readers

Epson is sampling the S1C17M10, a low power 16bit microcontroller with 16kbyte of flash and 4kbyte of ROM. The device is said to halve operating current while quadrupling operating speed in hand held card reader tokens.

Development boards reinforce support for 32-bit MCUs

STMicroelectronics has extended its support for the STM32 range of 32-bit Flash microcontrollers (MCUs) with the introduction of the STM32 Nucleo-144 series of low-cost, compact development boards. These boards offer increased connectivity that enables customers to develop applications using any STM32 MCUs.

High performance MCUs

STMicroelectronics’ STM32F767/769 microcontrollers (MCUs) bring ARM Cortex-M7 processing power and efficiency to applications such as portable or wearable consumer devices, smart-building and industrial controllers, smart appliances, and personal or point-of-care medical equipment.

Low power MCU doubles battery life

Seiko Epson (Epson) has announced the release of the S1C31W74, its first product in a series of energy-efficient microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated 32-bit Flash memory. The S1C31 family of MCUs has been created to provide high performance while extending the battery life of mobile devices.

Smallest MCU with built-in pre-driver for motor control

Toshiba has launched the TMPM37AFSQG microcontroller (MCU) as the latest addition to its ARM Cortex-M3-based TX03 series. The IC is claimed to be the world’s smallest vector control MCU to incorporate an original coprocessor, the Vector Engine Plus, and a pre-driver to implement brushless DC motor control.

MCU safety package for industrial applications

Infineon Technologies has announced a safety package for the XMC4000 range of 32-bit microcontrollers. The XMC4000 safety package is claimed to help develop TÜV-certified automation systems that conform to Safety Integrity Levels SIL2 and SIL3. The XMC4000 Safety Package was developed specifically for industrial high-end applications such as factory automation, industrial motor control and robotics.

16bit MCU range expanded

Microchip has expanded its PIC microcontroller portfolio with the PIC24FGB6 family. Included in the range are parts with up to 1Mbyte of ECC flash and 32kbyte of RAM – the first 16bit MCU in its range to offer such a large memory.

16bit MCUs for auto body control systems

A range of low power 16bit MCUs from Renesas is targeted at vehicle control systems. Called the RL78/F15 group and featuring 36 variants, the high functionality devices are said to combine low power consumption with high processing performance and CAN communications.

New NFC solution targets wearables

Ams has unveiled a new NFC (Near Field Communications) solution for manufacturers of smart watches, wristbands and other space-constrained devices, enabling them to support contactless payments and ticketing more reliably.

Toshiba announces three MCUs optimised for USB devices

Toshiba Electronics Europe has launched three microcontrollers (MCUs) optimised for use in USB devices. The TMPM066FWUG, TMPM067FWQG, and TMPM068FWXBG are the latest additions to Toshiba’s ARM Cortex-M0 core based TX00 series and feature integrated USB controllers.

Ultra-low power 16-bit flash MCU from Epson

Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson) has announced that it has developed and begun shipping samples of S1C17W18, a 16-bit flash microcontroller (MCU) from its S1C17W00 series. The MCU is said to operate at 1.2V and is capable of driving 352 segment displays while achieving 40% less current consumption in operating mode than previous 16-bit MCUs from the S1C17W00 series.

Development system supports STM32L4 MCUs

A new development ecosystem has been introduced by STMicroelectronics to support the STM32L4 series of MCUs. According to the company, the offering includes prototype boards for all budgets and STM32Cube software support.

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