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New Microchip ultra low power nanoWatt XLP Microcontrollers

New nanoWatt XLP Microcontrollers with sleep currents as low as 20nA

Microchip have just released a new range of low-power PIC® microcontroller (MCU) families with nanoWatt XLP™ eXtreme Low Power Technology with sleep currents as low as 20 nA. These three new 8- and 16-bit MCU families join three other recent 8-bit families that are all part of Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP portfolio, providing designers with a rich and compatible low-power migration path that includes on-chip peripherals for USB and mTouch™ sensing solutions. This industry-leading combination of low power consumption and functionality makes these PIC MCUs ideal for any battery-powered or power-constrained application.

“Microchip’s new nanoWatt XLP families of PIC microcontrollers have surpassed the competition by a substantial margin to offer a new industry benchmark for the lowest sleep current consumption,” said Tony Massimini, chief of technology at Semico Research Corporation. “When you factor in the integration of EEPROM, oscillators, USB and capacitive touch sensing peripherals, the potential reduction in system-level power consumption is quite substantial.”

Three of nanoWatt XLP Technology’s key advantages are: Sleep currents down to 20 nA, Real-Time Clock currents down to 500 nA, and Watchdog Timer currents down to 400 nA. The vast majority of low-power applications require one or more of these features. nanoWatt XLP Technology combines all three in a comprehensive portfolio of devices. Whether it is extended battery life, sealed batteries, or the integration of energy harvesting, Microchip’s 8- and 16-bit PIC MCUs with nanoWatt XLP Technology provide more freedom for designers that need their products to operate longer using less power, or requiring fewer battery changes.

“The extremely low sleep current and numerous wake-up features of Microchip’s new nanoWatt XLP microcontrollers should be ideal for battery-operated devices, which actually spend most of the time asleep,” said Tom Starnes, embedded processor analyst at the semiconductor research firm Objective Analysis. “The interest in the market for such low-power processors, for use in consumer to industrial applications, is really on the rise.”

The three new nanoWatt XLP MCU families that were announced today include the four-member, 16-bit PIC24F16KA family, which features typical sleep currents as low as 20 nA along with integrated EEPROM memory, and small-footprint and low pin count (20- and 28-pin) package options. Additionally, this family enables applications to run for more than 20 years from a single battery. The six-member PIC18F46J11 and the six-member PIC18F46J50 8-bit MCU families feature typical sleep currents of less than 20 nA. The general-purpose PIC18F46J11 MCUs provide up to 64 KB of Flash program memory and the peripheral set of a typical 64- or 80-pin device in only 28- or 44-pins; while the PIC18F46J50 devices add integrated Full-Speed USB 2.0 to enable connectivity for embedded applications requiring remote field upgrades or the downloading of data.

“Through significant investment in our new nanoWatt XLP Technology, which combines enhanced design techniques and new features, Microchip has driven power consumption to new lows, surpassing the industry and becoming the new leader in low-power microcontrollers,” said Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division.

Numerous applications can benefit from the extreme low power and peripheral integration of the nanoWatt XLP MCUs. Examples include portable and battery-powered applications in the Consumer (sealed disposable electronics, portable electronics white goods, game controllers, digital photo frames, coffee machines); Industrial (energy harvesting/scavenging, utility meters, security systems, thermostats, sprinkler timers, portable temperature controllers, remote/portable gas sensors and remote sensor networks, data logging and asset tracking, sealed/harsh environment sensors); Automotive (diagnostic equipment, car alarms, key fobs); and Medical markets (home medical devices, oxygen/bio flow meters, digital thermometers, patient monitors, lifestyle/fitness monitors and pedometers).

The company's Web site address is http://www.microchip.com/.

[Reprinted with kind permission from Microchip Corporation]


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