Extending battery life and eliminating external memory

25th November 2015
Joe Bush

The portfolio of Microchip’s Low Power PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) has been extended with the launch of the new PIC24F ‘GB6’ family. These include up to 1MB of Flash memory with Error Correction Code (ECC) and 32kB of RAM, making it the first 16-bit MCU in Microchip’s portfolio to offer such a large memory size. 

Also featuring dual partition Flash with Live Update capability, these devices can hold two independent software applications, permitting the simultaneous programming of one partition while executing application code from the other.

This combination of features makes the PIC24F ‘GB6’ family well suited for industrial, computer, medical/fitness and portable applications that require a long battery life, and data transfer and storage without the need of external memory. These applications include electricity metering, HVAC control, fingerprint scanners and gaming.

MCUs in the PIC24F ‘GB6’ family have active current consumption as low as 190µA/MHz and 3.2µA in sleep mode. With the ability to perform over-the-air firmware updates, designers can provide a cost effective, reliable and secure method for updating their applications.

The robust peripheral set for these devices includes a 200ksps, 24-channel, 12-bit analogue to digital converter (ADC) - up to 12 timers, six UARTS and USB-OTG to act as a USB device or host. Microchip Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) that run without the CPU are also integrated into the family, including a Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) for real time logic control and Direct Memory Access (DMA) that enables faster throughput and lowers power consumption.

The PIC24F ‘GB6’ family is supported by Microchip’s standard suite of development tools, and the new PIC24FJ1024GB610 Plug-In Module (MA240023). The Plug-in-Module is available for use with the Explorer 16 Development Board (DM240001).

PIC24F product variants are available in 64-pin, 100-pin and 121-pin packages, with Flash memory ranging from 128KB to 1MB.

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