The microcontrollers with configurable logic blocks enhance control systems in the industrial and automotive sectors by reducing costs.
Microchip Technology is responding to the demand for customization in embedded applications by introducing a hardware solution through the debut of its PIC16F13145 series of microcontrollers (MCUs). These MCUs are equipped with a Core Independent Peripheral (CIP)—the Configurable Logic Block (CLB) module—to implement combinational logic functions within the MCU. This integration enhances control systems’ efficiency and reaction time by enabling designers to forgo external components, lowering the Bill of Materials (BOM) cost and power usage. The design process is streamlined by a graphical tool that facilitates the creation of logic designs using the CLB. Targeted at the industrial and automotive markets, the series is suited for applications that require protocols, sequencing, or control to oversee control systems.
The Configurable Logic Block (CLB) operates independently of the CPU clock speed, improving system latency and offering a power solution. The CLB enables logical decisions while the CPU is in sleep mode, reducing power use and reliance on software. The microcontrollers feature a 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with computation capabilities, an 8-bit Digital-to-Analog (DAC) converter, comparators, timers of 8 and 16 bits, and modules for serial communication (I2C and SPI), enabling the execution of system-level tasks without the CPU. The series is available in packages from 8 to 20 pins.
“The Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) Module has been integrated into Microchip MCUs for more than a decade, and the new CLB module is the next step in the evolution of our customizable logic offering, enabling this family of MCUs to be utilized in applications that are typically the domain of standalone programmable logic devices,” said Greg Robinson, vice president of Microchip’s 8-bit microcontroller business unit. “Few single-chip solutions in today’s market address embedded engineers’ design challenges like the PIC16F131 MCU family. The new MCUs handle custom logic functions, minimize power consumption, simplify designs and can accommodate changing design requirements.”