8-bit PIC & AVR MCUs Extend The Embedded Design Universe


Extending its 8-bit PIC and AVR microcontrollers (MCUs) lineup for the embedded design universe, Microchip has unveiled two new microcontroller families. The new PIC16F18446 MCUs are ideal components for use in sensor nodes, and the new ATmega4809 MCUs are designed to create highly responsive command and control applications.

The new MCUs come with additional hardware and software tools, such as Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs), Intelligent Analog and MPLAB Code Configurator, enabling greater processing power while decreasing the amount of code, power consumption and design effort needed to get to market quickly.

Microchip said that these 8-bit MCUs can be used as an initial introduction into embedded development, as the main controller of a connected application or as an attach component to offload tasks from a larger system.



Ideal for use in sensor nodes, the new PIC16F18446 MCUs feature power-saving capability that enables sensor nodes to run on small batteries, decreasing end-user maintenance costs and the overall design footprint, says Microchip.

The PIC16F18446 and its integrated Analog-to-Digital Converter with Computation (ADC2) runs from 1.8V to 5V, providing compatibility with a majority of both analog output sensors and digital sensors. The 12-bit ADC does its filtering autonomously, providing more accurate analog sensor readings. The ADC has the ability to wake the core only when needed, thus saving power.


The new ATmega4809 has an integrated high-speed ADC with high processing power that enables faster conversion of analog signals resulting in deterministic system responses.

The MCU also includes Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs), allowing it to execute tasks in hardware instead of through software. This decreases the amount of code and can tremendously reduce software efforts for faster time to market, the company says.

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The ATmega4809 can also be added to a system to offload functions from more complex microprocessor (MPU)-based designs. By using CIPs to execute command and control tasks in the MCU instead of in the MPU, the risk of delayed responses is decreased, resulting in a better end-user experience.

Microchip also stated that the ATmega4809 has been selected to be the on-board microcontroller of a next-generation Arduino board, where it helps to reduce coding time and thus saves more time for creating.

“The adoption of the ATmega4809 in the next-generation Arduino board strengthens our partnership and brings the benefits of CIPs and Intelligent Analog to the Arduino platform,” said Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit.

The new PIC16F18446 microcontrollers are compatible with MPLAB PICkit (PG164140), Microchip’s latest in-circuit tool for low-cost programming and debugging. They are also supported by the Curiosity development board (DM164137), a feature-rich rapid prototyping board.

Additionally, MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), a free software plug-in, provides a graphical interface to configure peripherals and functions for any application.

Rapid prototyping with the ATmega4809 is supported by the ATmega4809 Xplained Pro (ATmega4809-XPRO) evaluation kit. The USB-powered kit features touch buttons, LEDs and extension headers for quick setup as well as an on-board programmer/debugger.

The Curiosity development board and the ATmega4809 Xplained Pro evaluation kit have a mikroBUS-compatible socket, allowing for the easy additions of sensors, actuators or communications interfaces from Mikroelektronika’s extensive library of click boards.

The PIC16F18446 and ATmega4809 devices are available today in a variety of memory sizes, pin counts and package options in volume production quantities.

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