The 8-bit PIC has made its mark as a mainstream architecture. To-morrow's PIC is moving up to a 16-bit implementation with added DSP functionality. Proprietary PIC vendor Microchip is developing the next-generation 16-bit architecture, which will combine microcontroller and DSP capabilities. The new architecture will be revealed by the middle of the year.
This is a new, from-the-ground-up design. The 16-bit processor will not execute older PIC code. But it will be upward compatible, so older code can be ported over. The 16-bit MUC will feature a mix of embedded control and embedded signal processing functions.
Delivering 5 to 15 MIPS, it targets applications that mix microcontroller and digital signal processing, like induction motors in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. Potential applications also include white goods motor control, Internet appliances, feature telephones, answering machines, point-of-sale terminals, biometric security systems, and power-supply management.
Pricing will range from $3 to $9 in 10,000-unit lots. Sampling will begin by the end of this year. For more information, point your Web browser to www.microchip.com.