Tiny Micro Hits The Spot

Microcontrollers are getting so tiny they're hard to find. Microchip's latest, the 1-MIPS PIC10F line, fits into a small SOT-23 package. Using an on-chip, 4MHz oscillator (1% accuracy), the six-pin PIC10F provides four I/O pins, using the remaining two for power and ground. It's tough to get much smaller than this.

Making its European debut in London earlier this month, the PIC10F is also small in price at $0.49. For that you get 16bytes of RAM and 256 12bit words of flash memory. It has a two-level hardware stack, an 8bit timer, an 8bit prescaler, and an optional analogue comparator with an on-chip voltage reference. Versions are available with twice as much RAM and flash memory. That may not sound like much, but it's more than enough for most target applications.

The maximum power draw for these chips is under 2mA. Standby mode only draws 100nA. Input pull-ups are small to minimise power usage. Outputs can sink/source 25mA per pin. This is more than enough to handle high-current LEDs.

Versions with industrial (-40°C to 80°C) and extended (-40°C to 125°C) temperature ranges are available. Operating voltage ranges from 2 to 5.5 V. The PIC10F supports In Circuit Serial Programming. Versions are available for use with Microchip's development tools.

The PIC10F family will replace many discrete and logic functions, reducing the implementation to a single chip.

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