Thursday, May 23, 2024

Microcontroller With Advanced I3C Features And Versatile Design

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Capable of reaching speeds up to 12.5 MBit/s in target device mode, the device features dynamic address assignment and maintains backward compatibility with I2C.


Microchip has launched a PIC18-Q20 line of microcontrollers. These advanced chips are available in 14- and 20-pin configurations and are notable for their multi-voltage I/O capabilities. The company claims they’re the inaugural low-pin count microcontrollers with an I3C target mode.

In this field, Microchip’s PIC18-Q20 claims to be the market’s premier general-purpose microcontroller with this novel interface. I3C uses a two-wire multi-drop bus system consisting of a clock and data wire. While it remains backwards compatible with I2C buses, it brings a significantly higher data transfer rate to the table. 

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The microcontroller functions exclusively in the I3C target mode. It aligns with a version of the I3C v1.0 specification called the MIPI I3C Basic Specification 1.0. This subset doesn’t require royalty payments and is licensed under the RAND-Z agreement. Furthermore, it is equipped with the I3C’s innovative features, such as in-band interrupts, dynamic address allocation, and the ability to join while active.

A standout feature of the microcontroller is its ability to run its core logic at a voltage distinct from the I3C interface. To illustrate, its multi-voltage I/O capability allows for I3C operations at voltage levels ranging from 0.95 to 3.63.

Apart from the aforementioned unique attributes, this line of microcontrollers is furnished with standard features such as a program flash memory of up to 64 kilobytes, 4 kilobytes of SRAM, 256 bytes of data EEPROM, multi-channel 10-bit ADCs, capacitive touch sensing, and various timers.

Some of the key features of the microcontroller product line are:

  • C Compiler Optimized RISC Architecture
  • Operating Speed: DC – 64 MHz clock input
  • Four Direct Memory Access (DMA) Controllers:
  • Vectored Interrupt Capability
  • 128-Level Deep Hardware Stack
  • Low-Current Power-on Reset (POR)
  • Configurable Power-up Timer (PWRT)
  • Brown-out Reset (BOR)
  • Low-Power BOR (LPBOR) Option
  • Windowed Watchdog Timer (WWDT)

Currently, these chips are available in a variety of surface mount packaging as well as the classic through-hole PDIP design. For more information, click here.

Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal
Nidhi Agarwal is a journalist at EFY. She is an Electronics and Communication Engineer with over five years of academic experience. Her expertise lies in working with development boards and IoT cloud. She enjoys writing as it enables her to share her knowledge and insights related to electronics, with like-minded techies.


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