|Nickname: Jack Ganssle
|Jack Ganssle is a lecturer and consultant specializing in embedded systems' development issues. He has been a columnist with Embedded Systems Design for over 20 years.|
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Posted: 06:09:36 PM, 15/04/2014
A look at Microchip's PIC16(L)F170X
8 bits? Isn't that a thing of the past?
220 or 110 right into the chip. Be careful probing the board!
Configurable logic cells put a bit of random logic on-chip.
But it's not all about ones and zeroes ("Every idiot can count to one," said Bob Widlar, famous analogue designer who detested the digital world). A pair of configurable op amps can take inputs from pins and/or a DAC or on-board fixed voltage reference. It is an analogue world, after all. The amps' specs are nothing to get excited about (CMMR 55 dB min, gain-bandwidth product 2MHz typical), but are more than sufficient for lots of MCU applications.
Configurable op amps bring analogue design to the MCU world.
The press documents claim 30 uA/Mhz operation, which is an almost unheard of number. I can't pry that out of the datasheet, and suspect it's a typical rather than worst case result. So, as they say, your mileage may vary.
A typical COG in push-pull mode.
A peripheral pin select feature is new for Microchip. It allows the software to remap the pins used by each digital I/O. That's useful for easing PCB routing, reducing cross-pin coupling, and, most specially, for fixing those all-too-common board layout goofs.
Code Configurator – Notice pinouts reflect the selected peripheral pin select setup.
According to Digi-Key these microcontrollers are under a buck in quantity. At the moment they are listed as non-stock, but Microchip is good at getting new parts to market roughly at the same time they're announced.
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