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8-Bit MCUs Move Software Tasks to Hardware

Microchip Technology has announced its next generation PIC18-Q43 family that offloads many software tasks to hardware. In microcontroller (MCU) based system design. Software is often the bottleneck for both time-to-market and system performance. The family’s combination of peripherals offers users greater versatility and simplicity when creating custom hardware-based functions with easy to use development tools.

Configurable peripherals are smartly interconnected to
allow near zero latency sharing of data, logic inputs or analog signals without
additional code for improved system response. Ideal for a variety of real-time
control and connected applications, including home appliances, security
systems, motor and industrial control, lighting and Internet of Things (IoT),
the PIC18-Q43 family helps reduce board space, Bill of Materials (BoM), overall
costs and time to market.

Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) are peripherals that
have been designed with additional capabilities to handle a variety of tasks
without the need for intervention from the Central Processing Unit (CPU). With
CIPs like timers, simplified Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) output, CLCs, Analog
to Digital Converter with Computation (ADCC), multiple serial communications
and more, the product family is designed to make it easy for developers to
customize their specific design configuration.

The CLC provides programmable logic that operates outside
the speed limitations of software execution, providing customers with the
ability to tailor such things as waveform generation, timing measurements and
more. CLCs can be the “glue” logic to connect on-chip peripherals for
hardware customization with unprecedented ease. Its core-independent
communication interfaces, including UART, SPI and I2C, offer
flexible, easy-to-use building blocks for developers looking to create a
customized device, while the addition of multiple DMA channels and interrupt
management accelerate real-time control with simplified software loops.

With Microchip’s comprehensive development tool suite,
users can quickly and easily generate application code and customize
combinations of CIPs in a graphical user interface (GUI) environment.
Additionally, the family operates up to 5V which increases noise immunity and
enables customers to interface to a wide range of sensors.

The PIC18-Q43 family is supported by Microchip’s MPLAB X
IDE and MPLAB Xpress IDE development environments, and MPLAB Code Configurator
(MCC)—a free software plug-in that provides a graphical interface to configure
peripherals and functions specific to an application. It’s also supported by
the PIC18F57Q43 Curiosity Nano board—a compact, cost-effective development
board with programming and debugging capabilities.

The PIC18-Q43 product family offers a range of memory
sizes, packages and price points to match a wide range of application needs.
All products are available for volume production and sampling in a variety of
packages. Volume pricing begins at $0.64 each.

Microchip Technology |

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8-Bit MCUs Move Software Tasks to Hardware

by Circuit Cellar Staff time to read: 2 min