Microchip Offers New Certified Full-Speed USB 2.0 PIC Microcontrollers

3/6/2006 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, today announced new Flash PIC® microcontrollers with certified Full-Speed USB 2.0 connectivity and 48 megahertz (MHz) operation, for 12 megabits-per-second (Mbps) data-transfer rates. In combination with a wide variety of on-chip peripherals and nanoWatt Technology power management, these features provide a complete embedded-control solution for designers working with USB in industrial, medical and many other embedded applications.

The majority of USB-capable microcontrollers are optimized exclusively for applications in the personal computing (PC) peripherals and consumer markets, leaving a real void for embedded designs. Microchip's USB PIC microcontroller family makes the benefits of Full-Speed USB available to a broader range of embedded applications that operate in harsh environments and only occasionally connect to personal computers. The new PIC18F4450/2450 Full-Speed USB microcontrollers help to address these needs by integrating USB as one of the primary serial interfaces, as opposed to the prevalent approach that adds a serial-to-USB patch on top of a legacy design.

"Microchip's USB PIC microcontrollers can perform as the sole controller in embedded applications," said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller and Architectures Division. "The new cost-effective USB family members announced today provide a Full-Speed compatible migration while maintaining a powerful 12 MIPS RISC core, self-programmable Flash memory and the power-saving features of our nanoWatt Technology."

Example embedded applications that benefit from these Full-Speed USB PIC microcontrollers include: industrial (manufacturing tools, data loggers, scanners, smart displays, micro fuel cells, gambling-machine peripherals, RFID readers, robot-controller interfaces, industrial timers, gas-flow analyzers, cable-test fixtures); medical (voice-activated applications, advanced wheel chairs, research equipment automation); automotive (vehicle-network bus diagnostic tools, vehicle trace recorders [black boxes], ultrasonic sensors); battery-powered (handheld tools, sensors, security applications, remote controls, home automation); consumer (business-card scanners, white-board digitizers, voice recorders, uninterruptable power-supply systems, MP3 players, fire alarms, security-system programmers).

The two new USB PIC microcontrollers feature 16 Kbytes of self-programmable Enhanced Flash memory, which allows field upgrades for end applications via the USB port. Microchip's advanced PMOS Electrically Erasable Cell (PEEC) Flash technology provides high endurance of up to 100,000 erase/write cycles and long data retention of more than 40 years. In addition, their Full-Speed USB 2.0 interface includes an onboard transceiver for direct data transfers to external peripherals with minimum CPU overhead. Other key features include:

Development Support
An area of major concern for most new USB-application designers is the quantity and quality of available firmware support. Microchip has an extensive set of libraries for the most common application classes, including the Human Interface Device (HID), Communication Device Class (CDC) and custom drivers. Recognizing the need for migration from legacy applications, Microchip has published application note number AN956 "Migrating Applications to USB from RS-232 UART with Minimal Impact on PC Software" online.

The new USB PIC microcontrollers are also supported by Microchip's world-class development systems, including: MPLAB® Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB C18 C Compiler, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger and MPLAB PM3 Universal Device Programmer. In addition, the PICDEMTM Full-Speed USB Demo Board (part # DM163025), and MPLAB ICE 2000 and MPLAB ICE 4000 In-Circuit Emulator processor modules (part # PCM18XR0), which ease development with this family's advanced USB features, are available now.

In the package options listed below, the two new USB PIC microcontrollers are available now for general sampling and volume production starting at $2.99 each for the PIC18F2450 and $3.59 each for the PIC18F4450, in 10,000 unit quantities. For additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip's Web site.

Microchip Customer Support
Microchip is committed to supporting its customers by helping design engineers develop products faster and more efficiently. Customers can access four main service areas at www.microchip.com. The Support area provides a fast way to get questions answered; the Sample area offers free evaluation samples of any Microchip device; microchipDIRECT provides 24-hour pricing, ordering, inventory and credit for convenient purchasing of all Microchip devices and development tools; finally, the Training area educates customers through webinars, sign-ups for local seminar and workshop courses, and information about the annual MASTERs events held throughout the world.

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.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC and MPLAB are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. PICDEM is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries.

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