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. Learn more in our microcontrollers guide.

What are Microcontrollers made up of?

Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors, 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 available for Microcontrollers?

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?

MCUs can be found in many technologies and any electronic device containing a sensor, a display, a user interface and a programmable output control or actuator is likely to feature an MCU. They can be found in the following areas:

  • Computers
  • Automotive
  • Robotics
  • Automation
  • Medical equipment
  • Home appliances
  • IoT devices

...
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Description Price Family Name Package Type Mounting Type Pin Count Device Core Data Bus Width Program Memory Size Maximum Frequency RAM Size USB Channels Number of PWM Units ADC Channels Number of SPI Channels Typical Operating Supply Voltage
RS Stock No. 467-1690
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP1,879.86
Each
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 x 10 bit - 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7139
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F877A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP349.508
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 14.3 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 2 - 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 159-6642
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ64GB002-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP216.09
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB 1 x OTG 5 - 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 703-7602
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ64GB002-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP337.53
Each
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB 1 x OTG 5 - 2 2 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 400-734
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ64GA002-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP173.39
Each
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB 0 5 x 10 bit - 2 2 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 876-7023
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ64GA002-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP173.755
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 64 kB 32MHz 8 kB 0 1 x 16 bit - 2 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 829-0131
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ128GB202-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP221.235
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 128 kB 32MHz 8 kB 1 1 x 16 bit - 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-4090
Mfr. Part No.PIC24FJ128GB202-I/SP
BrandMicrochip
PHP221.267
Each (In a Tube of 15)
units
PIC24FJ SPDIP Through Hole 28 PIC 16bit 128 kB 32MHz 8 kB 1 1 x 16 bit - 3 2 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 145-9015
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F527-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
PHP36.665
Each (In a Tube of 67)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 1.5 kB 20MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 400-277
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F677-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
PHP86.014
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B 0 - - 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 876-6773
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F677-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
PHP85.649
Each (In a Tube of 67)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 2048 words 20MHz 128 B 0 - - 1 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 786-3899
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F527-I/SS
BrandMicrochip
PHP38.037
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PIC16F SSOP Surface Mount 20 PIC 8bit 1.5 kB 20MHz 68 B 0 - - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 660-0805
Mfr. Part No.Z8F0822SJ020EG
BrandZilog
PHP250.56
Each
units
Z8 Encore! XP SOIC Surface Mount 28 Z8 8bit 8 kB 20MHz 1 kB 0 1 x 16 bit - 1 2.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-8332
Mfr. Part No.Z8F0822SJ020EG
BrandZilog
PHP225.351
Each (In a Tube of 27)
units
Z8 Encore! XP SOIC Surface Mount 28 Z8 8bit 8 kB 20MHz 1 kB 0 1 x 16 bit - 1 2.7 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 889-5288
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F458-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP490.209
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 - 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 165-4832
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K20-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP160.61
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F - - - PIC - - - 1.536 kB - - - - -
RS Stock No. 467-2154
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F458-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP488.18
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 x 10 bit - 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 564-232
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K20-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP161.578
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 64MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 - 1 1.8 to 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 121-4233
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F628A-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP155.066
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC16F PDIP Through Hole 18 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 20MHz 224 B 0 0 - - 3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 467-2126
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F452-I/P
BrandMicrochip
PHP424.26
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB 40MHz 1.536 kB 0 2 x 10 bit - 1 4.2 → 5.5 V