Microcontroller extends battery life in portable applications

Louise Smyth

Microchip announces the new PIC24 GA7 family of microcontrollers (MCU) which is available now.

As the lowest-cost 256 KB Flash memory 16-bit MCUs available today, these PIC24 devices enable extremely cost-effective designs for Internet of Things (IoT) sensor nodes, portable medical devices and industrial control applications.

The PIC24 GA7 family enables developers to cut power consumption, cost and space.

The devices offer low-power modes including multiple sleep modes, down to 190nA, to greatly decrease power consumption for extended battery life in portable applications at a fraction of the cost of previous solutions.

The new devices also offer up to 256 KB Flash and 16 KB RAM and are available in 28, 44 and 48 pin count package options, some as small as 4x4mm.

Products in the PIC24 GA7”family support Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) such as Configurable Logic Cell (CLC), Multi-output Capture Compare Pulse Width Modulation module (MCCP) and Direct Memory Access (DMA), which allow developers to accomplish tasks in hardware while freeing the Central Processing Unit (CPU) to do other tasks or to sleep.

The new microcontrollers also feature a robust peripheral set including 12-bit, 200 ksps Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC), up to seven timers and two Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitters (UARTs).

The new PIC24 GA7 family is supported by the Explorer 16/32 Development Board ecosystem (DM240001-2) as well as the new PIC24FJ256GA705 Plug-In Module (MA240039) which plugs into the Explorer 16/32 Board for easy evaluation and development. Designers can accelerate development by leveraging the “GA7” family’s compatibility with Microchip’s established software development platforms including MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), MPLAB X IDE and XC16 Compiler.

The PIC24 GA7 devices are also supported by Microchip’s MPLAB Xpress Cloud-Based IDE, which is an online development environment containing the most popular features of MPLAB X IDE.

MPLAB Xpress incorporates the latest version of MPLAB Code Configurator, which enables users to automatically generate initialization and application C code using a graphical interface and pin map. The MPLAB Xpress IDE is free and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world.

The PIC24 GA7 family is available in 64KB, 128KB and 256KB Flash variants with 28-pin, 44-pin and 48-pin packaging options.