Low-power MCU family suitable for portable medical devices

12th December 2016
Posted By : Alice Matthews
Low-power MCU family suitable for portable medical devices

A family of microcontrollers (MCU) has been released by Microchip, the PIC24 GA7. According to the company, they are the lowest-cost 256KB Flash memory 16-bit MCUs available today and as a result these PIC24 devices enable cost-effective designs for Internet of Things (IoT) sensor nodes, portable medical devices and industrial control applications.

The PIC24 GA7 family enables developers to cut power consumption, cost and space. The devices offer low-power modes including multiple sleep modes, down to 190nA, to decrease power consumption for extended battery life in portable applications at a fraction of the cost of previous solutions. The devices also offer up to 256KB Flash and 16KB RAM and are available in 28, 44 and 48 pin count package options, some as small as 4x4mm.

Products in the PIC24 GA7 family support Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) such as Configurable Logic Cell (CLC), Multi-output Capture Compare Pulse Width modulation module (MCCP) and Direct Memory Access (DMA), which allow developers to accomplish tasks in hardware while freeing the Central Processing Unit (CPU) to do other tasks or to sleep. The microcontrollers also feature a robust peripheral set including 12-bit, 200ksps Analogue-to-Digital Converter (ADC), up to seven timers and two Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitters (UARTs).

The PIC24 GA7 family is supported by the Explorer 16/32 Development Board ecosystem (DM240001-2) as well as the PIC24FJ256GA705 Plug-In Module (MA240039) which plugs into the Explorer 16/32 Board for easy evaluation and development. Designers can accelerate development by leveraging the GA7 family’s compatibility with Microchip’s established software development platforms including MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), MPLAB X IDE and XC16 Compiler.

The PIC24 GA7 devices are also supported by Microchip’s MPLAB Xpress Cloud-Based IDE, which is an online development environment containing the most popular features of MPLAB X IDE. MPLAB Xpress incorporates the latest version of MPLAB Code Configurator, which enables users to automatically generate initialisation and application C code using a graphical interface and pin map. The MPLAB Xpress IDE is free and can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world.

The PIC24 GA7 family is available in 64, 128 and 256KB Flash variants with 28-pin, 44-pin and 48-pin packaging options.

Key features:

  • Low-power family enables cost-effective, space-constrained designs
  • Extends battery life in portable applications at a fraction of the cost of previous solutions
  • Up to 256KB Flash, 16KB RAM, with 28-, 44- or 48-pin package options down to 4x4mm
  • Features Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs), analogue and UART peripherals
  • Supported by Explorer 16/32 Plug-in Module, MPLAB Code Configurator and MPLAB Xpress IDE

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