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.

What are they made up of?

Microcontrollers contain single or multiple processors (sometimes referred to as CPUs), 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 there?

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?

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

...
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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. 786-2120
Mfr. Part No.MK20DX256VLH7
BrandNXP
MYR32.07
Each
units
Kinetis K2x LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 - 288 kB 72MHz 66 kB 1 1 2 1 1.71 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-9641
Mfr. Part No.MC68HC705C8ACFNE
BrandNXP
MYR54.72
Each (In a Tube of 26)
units
M68HC05 PLCC Surface Mount 44 HC05 8bit 8 kB 2.1MHz 304 B 0 - - 1 3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-7157
Mfr. Part No.MK20DX256VLH7
BrandNXP
MYR36.648
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
Kinetis K2x LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM Cortex M4 - 288 kB 72MHz 66 kB 1 1 2 1 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 539-0291
Mfr. Part No.MC68HC705C8ACFNE
BrandNXP
MYR64.29
Each
units
M68HC05 PLCC Surface Mount 44 HC05 8bit 8 kB 2.1MHz 304 B 0 - - 1 3 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 166-0252
Mfr. Part No.LPC2134FBD64/01,15
BrandNXP
MYR37.91
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
LPC21 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 128 kB 60MHz 16 kB 0 1 8 2 3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 786-2199
Mfr. Part No.MKL26Z128VMC4
BrandNXP
MYR29.92
Each
units
Kinetis L BGA Surface Mount 121 ARM Cortex M0+ - 128 kB 48MHz 16 kB 1 1, 2 1 2 3.3 5 V
RS Stock No. 725-7761
Mfr. Part No.LPC2134FBD64/01,15
BrandNXP
MYR49.41
Each
units
LPC21 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 128 kB 60MHz 16 kB 0 1 8 2 3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-4002
Mfr. Part No.MKL26Z128VMC4
BrandNXP
MYR22.385
Each (In a Tray of 348)
units
Kinetis L BGA Surface Mount 121 ARM Cortex M0+ - 128 kB 48MHz 16 kB 1 1, 2 1 2 3.3 → 5 V
RS Stock No. 785-7440
Mfr. Part No.MC9S08PA16VLC
BrandNXP
MYR10.144
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
HCS08 LQFP Surface Mount 32 S08 8bit 16 kB 20MHz 2 kB 0 1 12 1 2.7 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 725-7733
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
MYR45.05
Each
units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 103-8049
Mfr. Part No.LPC1768FBD100,551
BrandNXP
MYR45.969
Each (In a Tube of 90)
units
LPC17 LQFP Surface Mount 100 ARM Cortex M3 32bit 512 kB 100MHz 64 kB 1 x Device, 1 x Host, 1 x OTG 2 8 3 3.3 V
RS Stock No. 169-7138
Mfr. Part No.MC9S08PA16VLC
BrandNXP
MYR6.889
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
HCS08 LQFP Surface Mount 32 S08 8bit 16 kB 20MHz 2 kB 0 1 12 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 785-7500
Mfr. Part No.MK60DN512VLQ10
BrandNXP
MYR50.23
Each
units
Kinetis K6x LQFP Surface Mount 144 ARM Cortex M4 - 512 kB 100MHz 128 kB 1 1 - 3 1.71 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 840-6585
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VTG4
BrandNXP
MYR4.812
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
Kinetis E TSSOP Surface Mount 16 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB 0 2 12 1 2.7 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 170-8958
Mfr. Part No.MKE04Z8VTG4
BrandNXP
MYR4.812
Each (In a Tube of 96)
units
Kinetis E TSSOP Surface Mount 16 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 8 kB 48MHz 1 kB 0 2 12 1 2.7 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-9640
Mfr. Part No.MCHC11F1CFNE4
BrandNXP
MYR73.33
Each (In a Tube of 18)
units
M68HC11 PLCC Surface Mount 68 HC11 8bit 512 B 3MHz 1.024 kB 0 1 8 1 -
RS Stock No. 725-7773
Mfr. Part No.LPC2138FBD64/01,15
BrandNXP
MYR64.57
Each
units
LPC21 LQFP Surface Mount 64 ARM7TDMI-S 16/32bit 512 kB 60MHz 32 kB 0 1 8 2 3 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 169-7143
Mfr. Part No.MK70FN1M0VMJ15
BrandNXP
MYR96.363
Each (In a Tray of 90)
units
Kinetis K7x BGA Surface Mount 256 ARM Cortex M4 - 1.024 MB 150MHz 128 kB 2 2 - 3 1.71 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 800-7462
Mfr. Part No.MKE02Z64VLD4
BrandNXP
MYR12.465
Each (In a Pack of 4)
units
Kinetis E LQFP Surface Mount 44 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 64 kB 40MHz 4 kB 0 0 16 2 2.7 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-7261
Mfr. Part No.MKE02Z64VLD4
BrandNXP
MYR9.53
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
Kinetis E LQFP Surface Mount 44 ARM Cortex M0+ 32bit 64 kB 40MHz 4 kB 0 0 16 2 2.7 → 5.5 V