Batteries and Portable Power

Microchip Technology Debuts nanoWatt XLP Microcontrollers With Low Sleep Current

Microchip Technology Inc. announced its next-generation low-power PIC® microcontroller (MCU) families with nanoWatt XLP™ EXtreme Low Power Technology for sleep currents as low as 20nA.

These three new 8- and 16-bit MCU families join three other recent 8-bit families that are all part of Microchip’s nanoWatt XLP portfolio, which the company states provides designers with a rich and compatible low-power migration path that includes on-chip peripherals for USB and mTouch™ sensing solutions. This combination of low power consumption and functionality makes these PIC MCUs well suited for any battery-powered or power-constrained application.

Three of nanoWatt XLP technology’s key advantages are: sleep currents down to 20nA, real-time clock currents down to 500nA, and watchdog timer currents down to 400nA. According to the company, the vast majority of low-power applications require one or more of these features. nanoWatt XLP technology combines all three in a comprehensive portfolio of devices. Whether it is extended battery life, sealed batteries, or the integration of energy harvesting, Microchip’s 8- and 16-bit PIC MCUs with nanoWatt XLP technology are said to provide more freedom for designers that need their products to operate longer using less power, or requiring fewer battery changes.

The three new nanoWatt XLP MCU families that were announced include the four-member, 16-bit PIC24F16KA family, which features typical sleep currents as low as 20nA along with integrated EEPROM memory, and small-footprint and low pin count (20- and 28-pin) package options. Additionally, this family enables applications to run for more than 20 years from a single battery.

The six-member PIC18F46J11 and the six-member PIC18F46J50 8-bit MCU families feature typical sleep currents of less than 20nA. The general-purpose PIC18F46J11 MCUs provide up to 64 KB of flash program memory and the peripheral set of a typical 64- or 80-pin device in only 28- or 44-pins; while the PIC18F46J50 devices add integrated full-speed USB 2.0 to enable connectivity for embedded applications requiring remote field upgrades or the downloading of data.

"Through significant investment in our new nanoWatt XLP Technology, which combines enhanced design techniques and new features, Microchip has driven power consumption to new lows, surpassing the industry and becoming the new leader in low-power microcontrollers," said Mitch Obolsky, Vice President of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division.

Numerous applications can benefit from the extreme low power and peripheral integration of the nanoWatt XLP MCUs. Examples include portable and battery-powered applications in the Consumer (sealed disposable electronics, portable electronics white goods, game controllers, digital photo frames, coffee machines); Industrial (energy harvesting/scavenging, utility meters, security systems, thermostats, sprinkler timers, portable temperature controllers, remote/portable gas sensors and remote sensor networks, data logging and asset tracking, sealed/harsh environment sensors); Automotive (diagnostic equipment, car alarms, key fobs); and Medical markets (home medical devices, oxygen/bio flow meters, digital thermometers, patient monitors, lifestyle/fitness monitors and pedometers).

The four PIC24F16KA 16-bit family members are available now for general sampling and volume production, with prices starting at $1.38 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The six PIC18F46J11 general-purpose 8-bit family members are available now for general sampling and volume production, with prices starting at $1.58 each in 10,000 unit quantities. The six PIC18F46J50 USB 8-bit family members are available now for general sampling and volume production, with prices starting at $1.78 each in 10,000 unit quantities.

Microchip Technology Inc.
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