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Microchip Announces Microcontrollers that Solve Tough Analog System Design Challenges

Adds MCUs that integrate configurable analog and digital peripherals supported by mixed-signal development environment

Sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications rely on a combination of analog functionality and digital control capability to meet a challenging list of requirements including low cost, small size, performance and low power. Addressing this challenge through a focus on increased microcontroller (MCU) integration, Microchip Technology Inc. announced the PIC18-Q41 and AVR DB MCU families that are the first to combine advanced analog peripherals and multi-voltage operation with inter-peripheral connections for increased system integration and reduced signal acquisition times, and offer the convenience and efficiency of operating in a single design environment.

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“Microchip is bringing easy-to-use analog capability to cost-effective PIC and AVR MCUs so designers can meet the requirements of large-scale IoT systems,” said Greg Robinson, associate vice president of marketing for Microchip’s 8-bit microcontroller business unit. “With a unified, seamless development tool experience, designers can use these MCUs as a single-chip controller, or as an intelligent analog signal conditioning component in a larger system.”

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To address the need for signal conditioning in space-constrained sensing and measuring applications such as IoT end nodes and industrial, medical devices, wearables, automotive and lighting systems, the PIC18-Q41 MCU has a configurable Operational Amplifier (Op Amp) and Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with computation and Digital-to-Analog Converters (DACs). It is particularly well-suited for IoT and large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) at-the-edge, including predictive maintenance edge nodes in a smart factory. Offered in compact 14- and 20-pin packages, the PIC18-Q41 MCU also makes a good companion to Microchip’s 32-bit MCUs and other controllers that require analog integration.

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Mixed-signal IoT systems often include multiple power domains, and the AVR DB MCU simplifies the challenges of these designs while reducing cost by integrating true bi-directional level shifters. This feature lowers cost in a wide range of applications including automotive, appliances, HVAC and liquid measurement. The addition of three independent and highly configurable Op Amps, a 12-bit differential ADC, 10-bit DAC, three zero cross detectors and Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) makes the AVR DB MCU ideal for virtually any application involving analog signal conditioning and processing functions.

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