Tag Archives: Microchip

ME Labs Advanced D-Stick (PIC18F47K40)

melabs.com released a new development board based on PIC18F47K40 PIC microcontroller. The board includes everything you need to start with your project. Documentation here: http://melabs.com/dstick/

The ME Labs Advanced D-Stick provides all the functionality of Microchip’s 40-pin PIC18F47K40 in a hardware module that includes a USB on-board programmer and virtual COM port. The D-Stick is a compact, simple and easy to use alternative to connecting a serial port, programmer, power supply, etc. to a solderless breadboard for project development. After development, simply replace the D-Stick with the pinout-compatible, production-ready PIC18F47K40.

ME Labs Advanced D-Stick (PIC18F47K40) – [Link]

PAC1934 – Microchip’s New Power-Monitoring IC Measures Power With 99% Accuracy

Microchip recently developed a precision power-and-energy-monitoring chip – PAC1934. The PAC1934 is a four channel power/energy monitor with current sensor amplifier and bus voltage monitors that feed high-resolution ADC. It works in conjunction with a Microchip software driver that is fully compatible with the Energy Estimation Engine (E3) built into the Windows 10 operating system. The whole setup provides 99 percent accuracy on all battery-powered Windows 10 devices.

PAC1934 - Software power monitoring IC
PAC1934 – Software power monitoring IC

The PAC1934 enables energy monitoring with a wide range of integration periods from 1 ms to up to 36 hours. Combining Microchip’s PAC1934 chip and Microsoft’s E3 service can enhance the measurement of battery usage by different applications up to 29 percent. The sophisticated digital circuitry of the IC performs power calculations and energy accumulation precisely.

The PAC1934 is able to measure voltage accurately as low as 0V and as high as 32V. This ability lets the chip precisely measure power usage from the Central Processing Unit (CPU) as well as from software running on devices connected through a USB Type-C connector. The chip has features that could make it an essential part of future software upgrades. No input filters are required for this chip as it uses real-time calibration to suppress offset and gain errors.

The PAC1934 measures bus voltage, sense resistor voltage, and accumulated proportional power. Then stores the data in 16-bit registers for retrieval by the system master or embedded controller. The data transfer between the chip and the host system is performed over SMBus or I2C. The sampling rate and energy integration period can also be controlled similarly. Another important feature is its highly configurable controls, such as Active channel selection and one-shot measurements.

Most important features are:

  • 100 mV full-scale voltage sense range, 16-bit resolution.
  • Bidirectional or unidirectional options.
  • Wide bus voltage measurement range 0V to 32V, 16-Bit Resolution.
  • 1% power measurement accuracy.
  • 48-bit power accumulator register for recording data.
  • 24-bit accumulator count.
  • User programmable sampling rates of 8, 64, 256, 1024 samples per second.
  • 36 hours of power data accumulation at 8 samples per second.
  • 2.7V to 5.5V supply operation.
  • Separate I/O pin for digital I/O 1.62-5.5V.
  • I2C fast mode plus (1Mp/S) and SMBus 3.0.

For more information on this IC, visit Microchip’s website here.

SST26WF064C – Low-voltage 64-Megabit SuperFlash® Memory Device From Microchip

Microchip introduced a new 64Mbit Serial Quad I/O memory device—SST26WF064C with proprietary SuperFlash® technology. The SST26WF064C writes with a single power supply of 1.65-1.95V and significantly lower power consumption. This makes it ideal for wireless, mobile, and battery-powered applications.

Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip
Microchip SST26WF064C Flash Memory Chip

This 64Mbit memory device also features DTR or Dual Transfer Rate technology. DTR lets the user access data of the chip on both rising and falling edges of the clock, reducing overall data access time and power consumption significantly. The SST26WF064C utilizes a 4-bit multiplexed I/O serial interface to boost performance while maintaining the tiny form factor of standard serial flash devices.

Microchip’s high-performance CMOS SuperFlash technology provides the fastest chip erase time, consequently, reduces overall power consumption. It also improves performance and reliability of the memory chip. The SST26WF064C’s typical chip-erase time is 35-50 milliseconds, where other chips take nearly 30 seconds to be completely erased.

This chip combines a hardware controlled RESET function which is not present in common flash chips available in the market due to their limited pin count. In SST26WF064C, the user can program the HOLD pin to use for the RESET function. This feature lets the host microcontroller to reset the chip by sending a pulse to it.

SST26WF064C supports full command-set compatibility with traditional Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) protocol. Operating at frequencies reaching 104 MHz, the SST26WF064C enables minimum latency execute-in-place (XIP) capability without the need for code shadowing on a SRAM. To learn about code shadowing, read this article.

The key features of the SST26WF064C are:

  • Single Voltage Read and Write Operations – 1.65-1.95V
  • Serial Interface Architecture
  • High-Speed Clock Frequency (104 MHz max.)
  • Burst Modes
  • Superior Reliability
  • Low Power Consumption
  • Fast Erase Time
  • Flexible Erase Capability
  • Suspend Program or Erase operation to access another block/sector
  • Software and Hardware Reset mode
  • Software Protection
  • Security ID
  • One-Time Programmable (OTP) 2KByte Secure ID
  • 64 bit unique, factory pre-programmed identifier
  • User-programmable area

To learn more about this memory chip or to purchase some, visit http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/SST26WF064C.

Making A Pickit 3 Clone

Make Your Own Pic Programmer and Debugger. by reviahh @ reviahh.wordpress.com

After using the Microchip tools to program and debug the projects I work on, I wondered about creating my own programming/debugging module that I could put on my own boards – just like Microchip does with their starter kits and such. As I became more interested in that idea, I began to search the web to see if anyone else had already done something similar. Initially, I found lots of posts regarding the 2nd version of the Pickit – the Pickit 2, but not as much regarding the latest version – the Pickit 3 – which is what I need to program the 32 bit pic processors that I am using.

Making A Pickit 3 Clone – [Link]

Call for Makers: Hackaday Prize for Social Impact Projects

In patnership with Digi-Key, Supply Frame and Microship, Hackaday is calling for the curious, the creative, and the determined who are working to create social change in order to transform the world using their hardware and programming knowledge in addition to scientific, design, and mechanical abilities. This contest by Hackaday will encourage people innovate projects that can impact in people lives.

All you have to do is designing an impactful project that suits you, or collaborate with a team to do it. You can create things like reliable utensils for the disabled, a way for denizens to find clean drinking water in rural villages, refreshable braille displays for image text and a smart home to build a sustainable community. Or go beyond that and create something that has never been seen before. The purpose of the contest is to encourage participants to develop solutions to address technology issues facing humanity today.

With the global collaboration behind this contest, the total prizes will reach $250,000 and they will be divided as following: $120,000 goes to top 120 finalists ($1,000 each), $50,000 Grand Prize, $30,000 Best Product Prize, $20,000 2nd Place, $15,000 3rd Place, $10,000 4th Place and finally a$5,000 5th Place.

The first stage of the Contest will consist of five (5) Challenge Rounds. Participants may enter the Contest during any of the Challenge Rounds. Up to twenty (20) entries from each Challenge Round will be chosen to advance to the final round. Participants must complete the requirements for at least one (1) Challenge Round to be eligible for the final round. An entry may be submitted to any or all of the Challenge Rounds as long as it meets the requirements for each Challenge Round in which it is submitted. All submissions must be in English and must comply with any specified requirements.

Challenge Round 1: (Get Started: Design Your Concept.)

Entry period begins 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on March 20, 2017 and closes 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on May 1, 2017. This round is for showcasing your idea, hacks and logs and presenting the problem and how will your project solve it.

Challenge Round 2: (Internet of Useful Things :: IuT ! IoT)

Entry period begins 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on May 1, 2017 and closes 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on June 12, 2017.
Let’s take Internet of Things and make it practical for everyday life. Internet of Useful Things projects showcase a way to build a better tomorrow with the data you track and analyzeChallenge

Round 3: (Wheels, Wings and Walkers)

Entry period begins 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on June 12, 2017 and closes 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on July 24, 2017. This round is for building things that move, so the objective of the project is movement and support for things that help move humanity forward.

Challenge Round 4: (Assistive Technology)

Entry period begins 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on July 24, 2017 and closes 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on September 4, 2017.  Assistive technology projects ensure a better quality of life for the disabled and enhance learning, working, and daily living.

Challenge Round 5: (Anything Goes)

Entry period begins 7:01 a.m. P.D.T on September 4, 2017 and closes 7:00 a.m. P.D.T on October 16, 2017. No reservation, no theme, no topic. it is up to you to build on your idea that resonates with you and encompasses the spirit of making. Build whatever you think would benefit humans and the world we live in.

Best Product

To be eligible for Best Product the product must not have received more than $2,000,000 in funding within the life of the product. The sum of the product’s dimensions (width + height + depth) must total 36 inches (91.44 centimeters) or less. Best Product Final Round. By 1:50 p.m. P.D.T. on October 21, 2017

It’s time to leverage your talent and find solutions to address a problem facing humanity today. With a new technical design challenge every 6 weeks, you are expanding the frontiers of knowledge and engineering.

In order to bootstrap your project before completing your final application of this contest, Hackaday now gives you the chance to participate in a public voting and win up to $200. Just start your entry to get access to this.
Check the rules of the contest to make sure that your country is eligible to apply. Also check this page to know more details about the contest.

PIC16F15386, A New PIC Family Announced By Microchip

Microchip, the well-known manufacturer of microcontrollers and semiconductors, announced this week a new family of 8-bit PIC microcontrollers, the ‘PIC16F15386’.

The new PIC16F15386 family features a 8 MIPS CPU speed, with 2KB RAM and up to 28KB flash memory offered in 8 to 48-pin packages. It also has a dual UART, dual SPI and dual I²C interfaces, one 8-bit timer and two 16-bit timers.

PIC16F15386 Features

  • Enhanced Mid-range Core with 49 Instruction, 16 Stack Levels
  • Flash Program Memory with self read/write capability
  • eXtreme Low Power (XLP)
  • IDLE and DOZE low power modes
  • Peripheral Module Disable (PMD)
  • Peripheral Pin Select (PPS)
  • 4x 10-bit PWMs
  • 2x Capture, Compare, PWM (CCP)
  • Complementary Waveform Generator (CWG)
  • Numerically Controlled Oscillator (NCO)
  • 4x Configurable Logic Controller (CLC)
  • 43 Channels 10-bit ADC with Voltage Reference
  • 5-bit Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)
  • 2x Comparators
  • 1x 8-bit Timers (TMR0/TMR2)
  • 2x 16-bit Timer (TMR1)
  • Window Watchdog Timer (WWDT)
  • Enhanced Power-On/Off-Reset
  • Low-Power Brown-Out Reset (LPBOR)
  • Programmable Brown-Out Reset (BOR)
  • In Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP)
  • PIC16LF15386 (1.8V – 3.6V)
  • PIC16F15386 (2.3V – 5.5V)

PIC16F15386 family comes with essential peripherals like Intelligent Analog, Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) and communication combined with eXtreme Low-Power (XLP) for a wide range of low-power applications. The family features PWMs, multiple communication, temperature sensor and memory features like Memory Access Partition (MAP) and Device Information Area (DIA).

We’ve always offered a diverse portfolio of products with large market appeal,” said Steve Drehobl, vice president of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU division. “With the combination of the most requested features and peripherals by our large base of PIC MCU users, the flexibility in memory size and package options and the availability of MPLAB Xpress with MCC, we expect the PIC16F15386 family to be popular with experienced and first-time PIC MCU designers.

The PIC16F15386 is also compatible with the MPLAB Xpress IDE and the MPLAB Code Configurator, a graphical programming environment. The family includes 13 unique products that are offered in various package options including PDIP, SOIC, DFN, UDFN, UQFN and SSOP.

All products are available now for sampling and in volume production. Volume pricing starts at $0.33 for the product family.

OpenScope, An Open Source Multi-function Board

In order to make learning and using electronics accessible to all, Digilent Inc., an electrical engineering products company, had created a new powerful and affordable tool for  beginners and enthusiasts. ‘OpenScope’ is an instrumentation device that empowers makers, hobbyists, engineers, and new learners to design and debug their most innovative products.

OpenScope is a portable multi-function programmable instrumentation module, that connects with computer through WiFi or USB to allow acquiring, analysing, visualising, and controlling signals from circuits, sensors, and other electronic devices. It can also be programmed to work as a standalone development board, like Arduino and Raspberry Pi, with high-speed precision analog and digital I/O.

WaveForms Live is a free, open-source, JavaScript-based software that runs in a browser. It comes with OpenScope and is used for configuring it to work as an oscilloscope, a function generator, a logic analyzer, a power supply, or a data logger.

OpenScope can be used to make real time monitoring and troubleshooting projects, to build long-term capturing and calculating IoT devices, and also to gain a deeper understanding of electronics through visualizing what’s happening inside of the circuit.

The core of OpenScope is the Microchip PIC32MZ Processor, a 32-bit MCU based on the MIPS processor, clocked at 200MHz with 2 MB flash memory and up to 512KB high-speed SRAM. It is placed on OpenScope’s top face with a WiFi module, MicroUSB port for power and programming, programming headers, 30 pins, two input channels, gain select multiplexers, with led and buttons.


OpenScope Features:

  • 2 12-bit scope channels at 2 MHz bandwidth and 6.25 MS/sec sampling rate.
  • 1 MHz function generator output with 10 MS/sec update rate.
  • 10 programmable digital I/O pins .
  • Up to 50 mA ±4 volts programmable power supply.
  • On-Board WiFi
  • Reprogrammable through Arduino IDE and Microchip MPLabX

$14,000 has been reached since launching the Kickstarter campaign yesterday. You can reserve your own OpenScope for $80 and also an optional 3D printed case is available for $25. According to the project timeline, early shipping will begins in April 2017.

ICStripBoard – PCB rapid prototyping tool


ICStripBoard is a innovative cheap tool to enable rapid prototyping of surface mount integrated circuits (IC’s) and allow their usage in prototype electronics projects.

Inline surface mount IC’s come in a Variety of packages which are different sizes and these Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) have been designed to accommodate the majority of IC’s. Available in the four standard IC pitches (space between IC pins) of 0.5mm, 0.65mm, 0.95mm and 1.27mm. These boards have been designed as long strips on thin (half the standard thickness) 0.8mm FR4 boards which can easily be cut to the correct amount of pins which the IC in question has. This allows the strip to be cut for multiple IC’s on multiple projects.

The cut pieces can easily be soldered and glued to other prototyping products and in conjunction with traditional through hole components can be used to create unique electronic prototypes. These boards will allow you to experiment with multiple IC’s without having to build PCB’s and is far cheaper than buying alternative break out boards due to the fact you cut them to size and the pattern repeats down the strip allowing this to be done multiple times. (more…)

New PWM controller IC By Microchip Charges Batteries of Any Chemistry

Battery technologies of all chemistry are experiencing revolutionary changes nowadays. Nanotechnology is leading this revolution by yielding new battery technologies including but not limited to Tiny Supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries that never explode at any condition. But, it’s bothersome to make different chargers for different types of batteries. So, Microchip solved this problem by introducing a new hybrid PWM controller, MCP19124/5, that charges batteries of any chemistry.

MCP19124 PWM Controller - 24 Pin QFN Package
MCP19124 PWM Controller – 24 Pin QFN Package

The power of this charging device lies in the combination of an 8-bit PIC microcontroller and an analog PWM controller in one package. This mixed signal low-side PWM controller features individual analog PWM control loops for both current regulation and voltage regulation. It can be configured with separate feedback networks and reference voltages. Any voltage, current, temperature, or duration can be used to trigger a transition to a different charging profile.

Various types of batteries require different charging profile. So, the only way to charge all kinds of batteries with a single device is to simulate all the charging profiles. A user can set his/her desired profile with the help of two independent current and voltage control loops, along with variable reference voltage. Now let’s get to know more details about this versatile PWM controller IC.

MCP19124/5 : 

The MCP19124/5 is a mid-voltage (4.5-42V) analog-based PWM controller with an integrated 8-bit PIC Microcontroller. There are two devices, the MCP19124 and MCP19125, where the last one has four I/O pins more than the first one. MPC19124 and MPC19125 are packaged in 24-lead QFN package and 28-lead QFN package respectively. It has following features:

  • Smooth, dynamic transitions from constant-current to constant-voltage operation
  • Dynamically adjustable output current and output voltage over a wide operating range
  • Wide operating voltage range: 4.5-42V
  • Analog peak-current mode Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) control
  • Available fixed frequency (31 kHz to 2 MHz)
  • I2C communication interface
  • 9 GPIO for MCP 19124 and 12 GPIO for MCP19125
  • Integrated high voltage linear regulator, with external output
  • Integrated temperatures sense diode
  • Integrated 10 bit A/D converter
  • Minimal external components needed
  • Custom algorithm support
  • Topologies supported include Boost, SEPIC, Flyback, and Cuk

In fact, the above list is just a brief overview. The controller is so complicated that user must read all 236 pages of the datasheet to gain sufficient knowledge.

Now, the question is, how can we use this IC to design an efficient battery charger?

To find the answer, one must read the datasheet thoroughly. At the same time, in-depth knowledge about the target battery is also required. However, Microchip provided a few schematics (as references) in the datasheet based on different applications. The circuit on battery charger is given below:

Battery Charger Circuit Using MCP19124 ICBattery Charger Circuit Using MCP19124 IC
Battery Charger Circuit Using MCP19124 IC

This ultimate powerful dual-loop PWM controller is going to be a game changer and part of the battery technology revolution. It possesses lots of possibilities. To learn more about this fantastic hybrid controller, study the datasheet carefully.

Atmel ATtiny417/814/816/817 Include Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs)

Atmel tinyAVR microcontrollers are optimized for applications that require performance, power efficiency and ease of use in a small package. All tinyAVR devices are based on the same architecture with other AVR devices. The integrated ADC, DAC, EEPROM memory and brown-out detector let you build applications without adding external components. The tinyAVR also offers Flash Memory for fast, secure and cost-effective in-circuit upgrades that significantly cuts your time to market.

The latest tinyAVR devices (ATtiny417/814/816/817) by Atmel combine AVR core with CIPs (Core Independent Peripherals). PIC microcontrollers with Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) already raised the performance of 8-Bit-MCUs to a new level. Since the acquisition of Atmel by Microchip, this is the first time the company leverages features from both MCU families.

So, now the question is:

What Is CIP?

In fact, the term CIP or Core Independent Peripherals is pretty much self-explanatory. Microchip’s description of CIP is:

CIPs allow the peripherals to operate independently of the core, including serial communication and analog peripherals. Together with the Event System, that allows peripherals to communicate without using the CPU, applications can be optimized at a system level. This lowers power consumption and increases throughput and system reliability.

Core Independent Peripherals or CIPs are designed to handle their tasks with no code or supervision from the CPU to maintain their operations. As a result, they simplify the implementation of complex logic control systems and give designers the flexibility to innovate.

ATtiny417/814/816/817 with Core Independent Peripherals block diagram
ATtiny417/814/816/817 with Core Independent Peripherals block diagram

ATtiny Models With CIPs:

  • 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller with 4KB Flash, 256 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 24 pins.
  • ATtiny814 :
  • 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller with 8KB Flash, 512 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC), Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 14 pins.
  • ATtiny816 :
  • 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller with 8KB Flash, 512 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC), Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 20 pins.
  • ATtiny817 :
  • 8-bit Atmel AVR microcontroller with 8KB Flash, 512 bytes SRAM, 128 bytes EEPROM, 20MHz/20 MIPS, two 16-bit timer/counters, one 12-bit timer/counter, RTC, USART, SPI, Two-wire Interface (I2C), 10-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, analog comparator, accurate internal oscillators and multiple calibrated voltage references, Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC), Custom Logic, 10-bytes unique ID, and 24 pins.
ATtiny417/814/816/817 With Core Independent Peripheral flash size and Pin count
ATtiny417/814/816/817 With Core Independent Peripheral flash size and Pin count

The new 8-bit tinyAVR MCUs are available in QFN and SOIC packages with pricing starting at $0.43 for 10K units. Visit Atmel tinyAVR product page for full technical details about the new MCUs.