Microchip Creates World's Smallest CAN Microcontroller

12/3/2004 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, introduced four new 8-bit CAN (Controller Area Network) Flash PIC® microcontrollers, including the world’s smallest CAN microcontroller in a 28-pin, 6x6 mm QFN package for minimal occupied board space and a lower total system cost. These devices combine a small form factor with the innovative ECANTM module and nanoWatt Technology power management to complete the seamless migration path of Microchip’s PIC18F CAN microcontroller portfolio from 16 to 64 Kbytes of Flash program memory and 28- to 80-pin package options for automotive and industrial designers.

Growing trends for electronics within the vehicle include power management, in-system programming, diagnostic testing and personalized multi-driver settings. While reliable CAN communication is a mainstay of automotive systems, it’s also growing rapidly within the industrial market where I/O modules, sensors and motor drives can all be connected via a single CAN bus. The new PIC18F4580 microcontroller series helps address these market demands with the industry’s most reliable field-reprogrammable Flash memory and the onboard ECAN module, which provides reliable CAN communication and enhanced support for the higher level protocols (such as J1939, CANopen and DeviceNetTM) that are being employed in networked automotive and industrial applications. In addition, the integrated nanoWatt Technology low-power modes and multiple oscillator sources enable strict control of power and speed, which is critical for each of the more than 70 CAN nodes found in the typical vehicle.

“As CAN-based networks become ubiquitous in automotive, industrial control and other segments, there is a growing need for CAN microcontrollers with robust performance and innovative power-management capability that are available in very small package sizes,” said Ganesh Moorthy, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller and Memory Division. “Our newest ECAN PIC microcontrollers, featuring nanoWatt Technology power management and ultra-reliable Flash memory packed in a super-small QFN package, enable new innovation possibilities for designers of CAN network-based systems.”

Example applications for the PIC18F4580 microcontroller series include: automotive (body controllers, steering position sensors, cabin environmental control, dashboard/instrument clusters); industrial (copy machines, hydraulic pressure regulators, motor control); consumer (tanning beds); medical (pharmaceutical distribution systems and wheel chairs); J1939 networks (trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, passenger/cargo trains, vending machines); CANopen networks (elevators, escalators, industrial control); DeviceNet networks (factory automation and industrial control).

The onboard ECAN module enables multiple applications to be configured on a single node and easier implementation of a software protocol bridge from a CAN network. Code-compatible with existing PIC microcontrollers that feature CAN, the new devices allow current customers to easily migrate to a more scalable CAN device with larger Flash memory. The ECAN module provides benefits where the system must select, receive and process a large number of messages, and where back-to-back transmissions of large quantities of information are required. ECAN’s FIFO mode is particularly suitable in these scenarios, as it can easily handle bursts of data, which is required by applications like bootloaders. In addition, ECAN requires almost no CPU processing time.

These new microcontrollers integrate Flash program memory, the ECAN module and an analog-to-digital converter into a 28-pin package. Additional features include:

Development Tools
All four Flash microcontrollers are supported by Microchip’s world-class development tools, including: MPLAB® Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB C18 C compiler, MPLAB ICD2 In-Circuit Debugger, MPLAB ICE 2000 In-Circuit Emulator and MPLAB PM3 Universal Device Programmer. The PICDEMTM CAN LIN 2 Demonstration Board (Part Number: DM163011) shows the functionality of the integrated CAN module features on these devices and is available for $199. Microchip also offers a free J1939 C library, which is available via download from the Company’s Web site. This library handles most network management aspects of J1939, allowing the user to concentrate on the primary application. The library also provides support for all J1939 address configurations and is easily configurable through Microchip’s Application MaestroTM utility.

In the package options listed below, the four microcontrollers are expected to be available in December for sampling and volume production is planned for January. For pricing or additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s Web site at www.microchip.com.

About Microchip Technology
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, and MPLAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. ECAN, In-Circuit Serial Programming, ICSP, Application Maestro, and PICDEM are trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. I2C is a trademark of Philips Corporation. SPI is a trademark of Motorola. DeviceNet is a trademark of ODVA.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: