Microchip Unveils PICmicro Microcontroller with Enhanced Power Management

12/9/2003 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced four new PICmicro 8-bit Flash microcontrollers optimized to address the demand for effective control of system power consumption in battery-powered and line-powered control applications. This new PIC16F family delivers fault-redundant clocking and the ability to shut the system down reliably, meeting the needs for safety-critical and power-managed motor control in the automotive and general purpose markets.

Microchip has seen a steadily increasing demand for low-cost microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated technology that can reduce power consumption to extend the life of batteries across a broad range of products. The new PIC16F737/747/767/777 devices answer this need with three enhanced nanoWatt Technology modes that allow total control of system power consumption. These devices also have three Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) modules for 3-phase motor control, which enable efficient motor operation and safe shutdown systems for low-end applications like brushless DC motors in appliances. With 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Conversion (ADC) and a Real Time Clock, these new MCUs can effectively measure and track energy usage per unit of time making them ideal for utility metering applications like multi-rate utility billing (both on- and off-peak).

"The PIC16F7x7 family offers a cost-effective solution for motor control and power-critical applications," said Ganesh Moorthy, vice president of the Advanced Microcontroller and Automotive Division at Microchip Technology. "By adding a family of standard Flash products with nanoWatt Technology features, we offer our customers socket-compatible flexibility and up to 10x system power reduction using integrated power management with minimal additional software."

For in-field reprogrammability and increased design flexibility, these MCUs have 4K and 8K words of standard Flash program memory. The PIC16F7x7 family also delivers up to 5 MIPS performance at 20MHz, 368 bytes of RAM and a Master Synchronous Serial Port module. Additional nanoWatt Technology features on these devices for power management include: an on-chip multi-frequency oscillator operating at up to 8MHz (with fast startup), flexible clock switching, 2-speed startup from reset, a fail-safe clock monitor, and a low-current programmable watchdog timer for safety critical applications. Serial interfaces include a USART module, SPITM and I2CTM.

The PIC16F7x7 devices serve a broad range of general purpose application segments, including: utility metering (dual-rate power meters, gas meters, monophase power meters, IC card interface to a power meter, AMR wireless metering); motor control (brush and brushless DC, ACIM); appliance (air conditioning, coffee machines, dishwashers and refrigerators); automotive (car alarms, remote keyless entry); battery/handheld (MP3 players, handheld medical devices, cell phones); and radio frequency (RFID readers, RF receivers). These devices are the newest members of Microchip's 8-bit PICmicro family, which was ranked number one in worldwide 8-bit microcontroller unit shipments in 2002 (according to Gartner Dataquest).

Tools and Availability
These new PIC16F7x7 MCUs are supported by a number of Microchip's development tools, including the no-cost MPLAB® 16 IDE (Integrated Development Environment) software. On the hardware side, there's the MPLAB ICE (In-Circuit Emulator) a full-featured emulator system, and the MPLAB ICD2 (In-Circuit Debugger). Available programmers include the PRO MATE® II a full-featured, modular device programmer, and the PICSTART® Plus a low-cost programmer.

The PIC16F737/747/767/777 devices are offered in 28- and 44-pin QFN, SOIC, SDIP, SSOP, PDIP and TQFP packages, and samples and volume production are available now. For additional information or pricing, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip's Web site at www.microchip.com.

Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, PICmicro, MPLAB, PRO MATE and PICSTART are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. SPI is a trademark of Motorola Inc. I2C is a trademark of Philips Corporation.

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