Microchip has introduced complementary read-only-memory (ROM) PIC microcontrollers in the PIC16 family. The PIC16CR7X ROM microcontrollers are the first in a new series of ROM PIC16 and PIC18 devices from the company. These microcontrollers provide the first seamlessly interchangeable options for Microchip's popular PIC16F7X Flash products. Manufacturers can now switch between Flash and ROM memory types throughout development and production, which the company says results in shorter time-to-market, reduced scrap and lower overall costs.
ROM microcontrollers can be more cost-effective for higher volume, stable applications. In addition, they can also save customers programming costs, product handling and production cycle time. However, Flash microcontrollers remain ideal for providing flexibility in production.
With their new socket-compatible devices, Microchip can support high-volume ROM production, while also providing Flash flexibility during development and at ramp-up and ramp-down (preventing any surplus ROM inventory issues). In addition, the short lead times of the Flash products can flexibly support upside demand above the normal production rate.
The new ROM devices also use exactly the same development tools as their Flash equivalents, so new tools do not need to be purchased or learned. These tools include the free-of-charge MPLAB integrated development environment (IDE), available from Microchip's website at www.microchip.com/mplab and the MPLAB in-circuit debugger (ICD) 2, available for purchase from www.microchipdirect.com.
The PIC16CR73 and PIC16CR76 come in 28-pin DIP, SOIC, SSOP, or QFN packages; and the PIC16CR74 and PIC16CR77 come in 40-pin PDIP or PLCC packages, or 44-pin QFP packages.
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