Microchip expands XLP low-power PIC MCU portfolio

26th June 2014
Nat Bowers

Microchip announces the expansion of its eXtreme Low Power (XLP) PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) with the PIC24F “GB2” family. This family features an integrated hardware crypto engine, a Random Number Generator (RNG) and One-Time-Programmable (OTP) key storage for protecting data in embedded applications.

The PIC24F “GB2” devices offer up to 128 KB Flash and 8 KB RAM in small 28- or 44-pin packages, for battery-operated or portable applications such as “Internet of Things” (IoT) sensor nodes, access control systems and door locks.

Several security features are integrated into the PIC24F “GB2” family, to protect embedded data. The fully featured hardware crypto engine, supporting the AES, DES and 3DES standards, reduces software overhead, lowers power consumption and enables faster throughput. This is another example of Microchip’s Core Independent Peripherals, which can run with no CPU supervision. Also, a Random Number Generator creates random keys for data encryption, decryption and authentication, to provide a higher level of security. For additional protection, the One-Time-Programmable (OTP) key storage prevents the encryption key from being read or overwritten. These security features increase the integrity of embedded data without sacrificing power consumption. With XLP technology, the “GB2” family achieves 180 µA/MHz Run currents and 18 nA Sleep currents, for very long battery life in portable applications.

For connectivity, the “GB2” family integrates USB for device or host connections, as well as a UART with ISO7816 support, which is helpful for smartcard applications. With these features, the PIC24F “GB2” devices protect embedded data while conserving power and maximizing battery life, all in packages as small as 28-pin QFN for medical and fitness applications such as pedometers, wearable fitness and handheld devices; computer applications such as PC peripherals, printers and portable accessories; and industrial applications which include security door locks, access control systems, security cameras, POS terminals, smart card readers, heat/gas meters and IoT sensor nodes. Microchip also has a flexible range of certified wireless modules for Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy, making it easy to add wireless connections to a PIC24 “GB2” application.

The combination of the PIC24F “GB2” family with Microchip’s embedded wireless solutions, enables low-power wireless connectivity to Internet-connected things in addition to faster throughput and lower BOM costs.

The PIC24F “GB2” family is supported by Microchip’s standard suite of world-class development tools, including the Explorer 16 Development Board (DM240002) priced at $129.99; PIC24FJ128GB204 Plug In Module for USB (MA240037) at $25.00; PIC24FJ128GA204 Plug In Module for non-USB (MA240036) at $25.00; and USB PICtail Plus Daughter Board (AC164131) at $60.00. In addition, wireless connections can be added using one of Microchip’s Wireless PICtail Daughter Boards, including the WiFi PICtail Development Board (RN-171-PICtail) priced at $39.95, and Bluetooth LE PICtail/PICtail Plus (RN-4020-PICtail) at $49.00.

Product variants are available with USB (PIC24FJXXXGB2XX) and without USB (PIC24FJXXXGA2XX). ThePIC24FJ128GB204, PIC24FJ64GB204, PIC24FJ128GA204 and PIC24FJ64GA204 are offered in 44-pin TQFP and QFN packages. The PIC24FJ128GB202, PIC24FJ64GB202, PIC24FJ128GA202 and PIC24FJ64GA202 are available in 28-pin SOIC, SSOP, SPDIP and QFN packages. All of these new MCUs are available today for sampling and volume production.

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