Microchip has expanded its offering of 8-bit microcontrollers with the new high-performance, cost-effective, eight member PIC18F87J50 family, featuring an integrated and certified USB 2.0 full-speed 12 Mbps transceiver and with processing performance of 12 MIPS at 3 V (up to 48 MHz operation). Unlike other products on the market that can only serve as an interface between a serial port and the USB bus, these devices can perform as the sole controller in embedded applications.
USB interfaces on MCUs are not new, but Microchip's approach is aimed at providing solutions for a broad range of embedded applications, as opposed to the conventional approach optimised for applications in the personal computing peripherals and consumer markets. Instead of simply adding a serial-to-USB patch on top of an existing design, USB is integrated as one of the primary serial interfaces, providing more flexibility to embedded systems designers, for applications that operate in harsh environments and only occasionally connect to PCs or other USB hosts.
The PIC18F87J50 family also includes nanoWatt technology for low power consumption in sleep mode, which is ideal for battery-powered applications. These features, combined with up to 65 available I/O, 4 Kbytes of RAM, 128 Kbytes of Flash program memory that can be updated in-circuit and a rich peripheral set, including a 12-channel, 10-bit ADC and a Parallel Master Port for connection to external memory and displays, serve to enhance the family's suitability for embedded-control applications. Other features include five PWMs, two 8-bit timers, three 16-bit timers, two SPI/I²C serial ports, two UARTS and two comparators.
Microchip is targeting a broad range of applications with these devices, including:
* Industrial: manufacturing tools, data-loggers, scanners, smart displays, micro fuelcells, gambling-machine peripherals, RFID readers, robot-controller interfaces, industrial timers, gasflow analysers, cable-test fixtures.
* Medical: voice-activated applications, advanced wheelchairs, 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 digitisers, voice recorders, uninterruptible power-supply systems, MP3 players, fire alarms, security-system programmers.
For more information contact Arrow Altech Distribution, +27 (0)11 923 9600, www.arrow.altech.co.za; Avnet Kopp, +27 (0)11 809 6100, www.avnet.co.za; Electrocomp, +27 (0)11 458 9000, www.electrocomp.co.za; Future Electronics SA, +27 (0)31 262 7743, www.futureelectronics.com; or Tempe Technologies, +27 (0)11 452 0530, www.tempetech.co.za
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