Microcontrollers

Microcontrollers, also referred to as MCUs (microcontroller units), are embedded semiconductor devices used in circuit board design. They are essentially a computer within an integrated circuit (IC). Microcontrollers are mostly used in single-function ’embedded’ applications, unlike microprocessors which are designed for general-purpose work in Personal Computers, Tablets and Smartphones. Microcontrollers are limited in their clock speed compared to microprocessors by the relative slowness of their non-volatile Flash program memory.


What are they made up of?


Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors (sometimes referred to as CPUs), plus memory and I/O peripherals. These peripherals include timers, ADCs (analogue-to-digital converters) and DACs (digital-to-analogue converters).


What does “8-bit” mean?


Microcontrollers have a data bus width which describes the amount of data the MCU can process at a time. For example, an 8-bit microcontroller can process 8 bits at one time. Popular data bus widths include 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit MCUs.


What packages are there?


MCUs come in standard chip packages with various pin counts. Package types include:


  • LQFP

  • PDIP

  • QFN

  • SOIC

  • SSOP

  • TQFP

  • TSSOP

What are ARM processor cores?


Microcontrollers often contain an ARM microprocessor core. ARM represents an architecture developed by ARM Holdings, which is used by other companies to manufacture microprocessors and other devices such as System-on-Chip (SoCs).


  • Cortex-M0

  • Cortex-M0+

  • Cortex-M1

  • Cortex-M3

  • Cortex-M4

  • Cortex-M7

  • Cortex-M23

  • Cortex-M33

  • Cortex-M35P

Where are microcontrollers used?


  • Computers

  • Automotive

  • Robotics

  • Automation

  • Medical equipment

  • Home appliances

...
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Tillv. art.nrSTM32F407IGH6
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STM32F UFBGA Surface Mount 176 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 1.024 MB 168MHz 4 kB, 192 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 1 24 3 1.8 → 3.6 V
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CC26xx VQFN Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0, ARM Cortex M3 16bit 128 kB 48MHz 20 kB - - 8 - 3.8 (Maximum) V
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PIC16F TQFP Surface Mount 44 PIC 8bit 4096 words 20MHz 256 B - 2 14 1 2 → 5.5 V
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LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 256 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
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PIC18F SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 8bit 32 kB 40MHz 1.536 kB - 2 5 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
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XC166 TQFP Surface Mount 100 C166S V2 16bit 128 kB 20MHz 2 (DPRAM) kB, 2 (PSRAM) kB, 4 (DSRAM) kB - - 14 - 2.35 → 2.7 (Core) V, 4.4 → 5.5 (I/O) V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 12 1 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 5 39 2 3.6 V
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PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 32bit 64 kB 50MHz 8 kB - 5 28 3 2.3 → 3.6 V
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PIC12F SOIC Surface Mount 8 PIC 8bit 1 kwords 16MHz 128 B 1 3 4 - 5.5 V
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XMC1000 TSSOP Surface Mount 16 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 64 kB 66.4MHz 16 kB - - 6 - 1.8 → 5.5 V
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PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 16384 words 32MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 11 1 2.5 → 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 256 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 11 16, 21 3 2 → 3.6 V
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PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 28 PIC 8bit 16384 words 32MHz 1.024 kB 1 1 11 1 2.5 → 3.6 V
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PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 32bit 64 kB 100MHz 16 kB - 1 28 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 48 ARM Cortex M4 32bit 128 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 2 39 3 2 → 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB - - 12 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4F 32bit 256 kB 72MHz 32 kB 1 11 16, 21 3 2 → 3.6 V
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STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB - 1 12 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
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