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Microchip Technology releases a series of new LCD microcontrollers

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Microchip Technology, a leading provider of microcontroller and analogue semiconductors, has released six new members of the 8-bit PIC microcontroller family with an integrated Liquid-Crystal Display (LCD) module.

The PIC18F85J90 series doubles the amount of Flash and RAM memory over existing 64- and 80-pin family members for cost-effective human-interface applications requiring embedded control, including thermostats, utility meters and medical instrumentation.

This increased amount of memory enables users to add more complex functionality such as speech playback and larger amounts of self-programming memory allocation, while taking advantage of the cost savings offered by the PIC18 "J" series' 3-volt manufacturing process technology.

The LCD module onboard the PIC18F85J90 series also enables a software-programmable contrast controller. This contrast controller can boost the LCD voltage, dim the display, or compensate for environmental elements like temperature and lighting.

These features lower the cost of the LCD glass while improving the display appearance, making advanced LCD functionality affordable to a whole new class of embedded display applications.

Other key features include an internal oscillator, improved low-voltage performance and more LCD segments on 64-pin devices, which all help to lower the total system cost.

"Microchip's Flash LCD microcontrollers offer great breadth of LCD segment drivers, package sizes, and integrated features for embedded control applications," said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of the Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division.

"With the PIC18F85J90's high performance, flexible LCD controller, engineers are now able to add complex functionality, such as speech playback and LCD contrast dimming, to products that previously could not justify the cost."

Example applications for the new PIC18F85J90 microcontroller family with integrated LCD module include: automotive (dashboard displays); instrumentation/measurement (medical instruments/monitors, meter reading, handheld terminal/remote reading); appliance (display/control units on stoves/ovens, microwaves, etc.); industrial (payment systems, water/gas/electric/heat utility meters, gasoline pumps); consumer (programmable thermostats/controls, irrigation control, home security systems, exercise equipment); communications (handset displays).

Additional features include:

  • 8 to 32 Kbytes of self-programming Flash program memory, and up to 2 Kbytes of SRAM
  • Enhanced LCD module with four multiplex commons and up to 48 segments driving up to 192 pixels
  • Seven power-managed states, and a 32 kHz to 8 MHz internal oscillator
  • High core performance of up to 40 MHz at 3V
  • 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter with up to 12 signal channels and 100k samples-per-second
  • Two analogue comparators, internal voltage reference, brownout detect and low-voltage detect
  • MI2Cä/SPI, EUSART (supports LIN) and AUSART communication protocol support
  • Four timers and two Capture/Compare/PWM modules

Development tools:

To reduce time to market, all six microcontrollers are supported by Microchip's standard, high-performance development systems, including: MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB C18 C Compiler, MPLAB ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger and the PICDEM HPC Explorer Board (part # DM183022). In addition, the PICDEM LCD 2 Demo Board (part # DM163030) is expected to be available in May to ease development with this series' advanced LCD features.


All six of the PIC18F85J90 LCD microcontrollers are available today for general sampling and volume production.

The PIC18F85J90/84J90/83J90 is available in 80-pin TQFP packages, while the PIC18F65J90/64J90/63J90 is available in 64-pin TQFP packages.

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