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Microcontrollers for control of power consumption

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article image PICmicro 8-bit Flash microcontrollers

MICROCHIP Technology has released four PICmicro 8-bit Flash microcontrollers, optimised to give effective control of system power consumption in battery-powered and line-powered control applications.

The new PIC16F family delivers fault-redundant clocking and the ability to shut the system down reliably, meeting the needs for safety-critical and power-managed motor control in the automotive and general-purpose markets.

The new PIC16F737/747/767/777 devices have three enhanced nanoWatt technology modes that allow total control of system power consumption. These devices also have three pulse-width modulation (PWM) modules for 3-phase motor control, which enable efficient motor operation and safe shutdown systems for low-end applications like brushless DC motors in appliances.

With 10-bit analogue-to-digital conversion (ADC) and a real time clock, these new microcontrollers can effectively measure and track energy usage per unit of time, making them ideal for utility metering applications like multi-rate utility billing (both on and off-peak).

For in-field reprogrammability and increased design flexibility, these microcontrollers have 4K and 8K words of standard Flash program memory. The PIC16F7x7 family also delivers up to 5 MIPS performance at 20MHz, 368 bytes of RAM and a master synchronous serial port module.

Additional nanoWatt technology features on these devices for power management include: an on-chip multi-frequency oscillator operating at up to 8MHz (with fast startup), flexible clock switching, 2-speed startup from reset, a fail-safe clock monitor, and a low-current programmable watchdog timer for safety critical applications. Serial interfaces include a USART module, SPI and I2C.

The PIC16F7x7 devices serve a broad range of general purpose application segments, including: utility metering (dual-rate power meters, gas meters, monophase power meters, IC card interface to a power meter, AMR wireless metering); motor control (brush and brushless dc, ACIM); appliance (air conditioning, coffee machines, dishwashers and refrigerators); automotive (car alarms, remote keyless entry); battery/handheld (MP3 players, handheld medical devices, cell phones); and radio frequency (RFID readers, RF receivers).

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