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Microchip Technology unveils new 8-bit microcontrollers

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Microchip Technology Inc, a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, has unveiled a family of the world's smallest 8-bit microcontrollers with an integrated IEEE 802.3-compliant Ethernet communications peripheral.

The PIC18F97J60 family is optimised for embedded applications, and has an on-chip Medium Access Controller (MAC) and Physical Layer Device (PHY). By integrating a 10BASE-T Ethernet controller onto a 10 MIPS PIC18 microcontroller with up to 128 Kbytes of Flash program memory, Microchip is providing embedded systems designers with a single-chip remote-communication solution for a wide range of applications.
 
Embedded engineers have long wanted to add remote monitoring and communication to their embedded designs, but previous solutions were expensive and complex. Due to Microchip's integration of its PIC18 high-end 8-bit microcontroller with a complete Ethernet controller, including MAC, PHY and transmit/receive RAM buffer, designers can now have network connectivity in 64- to 100-pin packages that is one of the most cost effective and easiest to use Ethernet solutions. And, Microchip offers a free TCP/IP software stack to reduce development time.
 
Ethernet is the leading networking technology for local area networks (LANs), and it can be used to connect embedded devices through a LAN to the Internet. By adding Ethernet connectivity to an embedded system, microcontrollers can distribute data over a network and can be controlled remotely. Ethernet's infrastructure, performance, interoperability, scalability and ease of development have made it a standard choice for embedded communications.
 
Any embedded application that requires Ethernet connectivity for communication or monitoring can take advantage of Microchip's nine-member PIC18F97J60 microcontroller family. Specific application examples include: Industrial Automation (Industrial Control, Power-Supply Monitoring, Network/Server Monitoring, Environmental Monitoring); Building Automation (Fire & Safety, Access Control, Security Panels, Lighting Control, VoIP Intercom); Commercial Control (Kitchen Appliances, Drink Dispensers, Hotel Minibars, POS Terminals); Home Control (Security, Networked Appliances).
 
Key features for all nine members of the PIC18F97J60 8-bit microcontroller family include:
 
Seamless Migration: flexibility to add Ethernet connectivity to existing PIC18 designs with minimal cost and development time.
 
IEEE 802.3-Compliant: on-chip 10BASE-T MAC and PHY provides reliable packet-data transmission/reception based on an industry standard for Ethernet.
 
Dedicated 8-Kbyte Ethernet Buffer: flexible buffer enables efficient packet storage, retrieval and modification, and reduces memory requirements for the integrated microcontroller.
 
128 Kbytes of Flash and 4 Kbytes SRAM: large memory accommodates TCP/IP stack with Web server, leaving ample space for user application code.
 
Development Tools
The PIC18F97J60 PICDEM.net 2 Development Board (part # DM163024), available now, was created specifically to speed development with these new integrated microcontrollers. And, the latest version of Microchip's free PIC18 TCP/IP Ethernet Stack can be downloaded at www.microchip.com/tcpip. Additionally, Microchip's world-class suite of development tools is compatible with this new family of microcontrollers, including the MPLAB VDI visual device initialiser, Application Maestro software, MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger and the MPLAB C18 C compiler.

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