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. 860-7508
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030K6T6TR
€1.60
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex M0 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 1 x 16 bit - 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-5858
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030K6T6
€1.091
Each (In a Tray of 250)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 - - 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-3470
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-E/P
BrandMicrochip
€2.996
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F - - - PIC - - - 1.536 kB - - - - -
RS Stock No. 703-7747
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K22-E/P
BrandMicrochip
€3.21
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32.768 kB, 256 B 16MHz 1.536 kB 0 5 - 2 2.3 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 829-4644
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030K6T6
€1.441
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 - - 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-5557
Mfr. Part No.STM32F030K6T6TR
€0.788
Each (On a Reel of 2400)
units
STM32F LQFP Surface Mount 32 ARM Cortex 32bit 32 kB 48MHz 4 kB 0 - - 1 2.4 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 121-9714
Mfr. Part No.MSP430G2553IN20
€2.641
Each (In a Tube of 20)
units
MSP430 PDIP Through Hole 20 MSP430 16bit 16 kB 16MHz 512 B 0 - - 2 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 817-6411
Mfr. Part No.MSP430G2553IN20
€2.94
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
MSP430 PDIP Through Hole 20 MSP430 16bit 16 kB 16MHz 512 B 0 - - 2 1.8 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 564-232
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K20-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€2.694
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 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-4832
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F45K20-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€2.517
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F - - - PIC - - - 1.536 kB - - - - -
RS Stock No. 887-7372
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F88-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
€2.995
Each (In a Tube of 42)
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 7.168 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 1 x 10 bit - 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0500
Mfr. Part No.PIC16F88-I/SO
BrandMicrochip
€3.53
Each
units
PIC16F SOIC Surface Mount 18 PIC 8bit 7.168 kB, 256 B 20MHz 368 B 0 1 x 10 bit - 1 4 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 121-4232
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F683-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€1.634
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 3.5 kB 20MHz 128 B 0 0 - - 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7151
Mfr. Part No.PIC12F683-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€1.697
Each (In a Tube of 60)
units
PIC12F PDIP Through Hole 8 PIC 8bit 2048 x 14 words, 256 B 20MHz 128 B 0 1 x 10 bit - 0 2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 623-0803
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4550-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€6.14
Each
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 x 10 bit - 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 887-7142
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F4550-I/P
BrandMicrochip
€5.734
Each (In a Tube of 10)
units
PIC18F PDIP Through Hole 40 PIC 8bit 32 kB, 256 B 48MHz 2.048 kB 1 x Device 2 - 1 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 829-0585
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX470F512L-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
€7.04
Each
units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 32bit 512 + 12 kB 100MHz 128 kB 1 x OTG, 2 x DMA 1 - 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 165-4264
Mfr. Part No.PIC32MX470F512L-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
€5.198
Each (In a Tray of 119)
units
PIC32MX TQFP Surface Mount 100 PIC 32bit 512 + 12 kB 100MHz 128 kB 1 x OTG, 2 x DMA 1 - 2 2.3 → 3.6 V
RS Stock No. 737-4682
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F6622-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
€7.73
Each
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.936 kB 0 3 x 10 bit - 2 4.2 → 5.5 V
RS Stock No. 889-5124
Mfr. Part No.PIC18F6622-I/PT
BrandMicrochip
€9.73
Each (In a Tray of 160)
units
PIC18F TQFP Surface Mount 64 PIC 8bit 1.024 kB, 64 kB 40MHz 3.936 kB 0 3 x 10 bit - 2 4.2 → 5.5 V