Microchip announces microcontroller family providing multiple independent, closed-loop power channels and system management

Microchip has announced from the Embedded World conference in Germany a new family of 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers (MCUs) with the PIC16(L)F1769 family.  This is the first PIC MCU family to offer up to two independent closed-loop channels.  This is achieved with the addition of the Programmable Ramp Generator (PRG), which automates slope and ramp compensation, and increases stability and efficiencies in hybrid power conversion applications.  The PRG provides real-time, down to the nanosecond, responses to a system change without CPU interaction for multiple independent power channels.  This gives customers the ability to reduce latency and component counts while improving system efficiency.

Watch a short product/demo video:  http://www.microchip.com/PIC16L_F1769-Product-Video-022415a

The PIC16(L)F1769 family includes intelligent analogue and digital peripherals, including tri-state op amps, 10-bit Analogue-to-Digital Converters (ADCs), 5- & 10-bit Digital-to-Analogue Converters (DACs), 10- and 16-bit PWMs, and high-speed comparators, in addition to two 100 mA high-current I/Os.  The combination of these integrated peripherals helps to support the demands of multiple independent closed-loop power channels and system management, while providing an 8-bit platform that simplifies design, enables higher efficiency and increased performance while helping to eliminate many discrete components in power-conversion systems.

In addition to power-conversion peripherals, these PIC MCUs have a hardware-based LED dimming control function enabled by the interconnections of the Data Signal Modulator (DSM), op amp and 16-bit PWM.  The combination of these peripherals creates a LED-dimming engine synchronising switching control and eliminating LED current overshoot and decay.  The synchronisation of the output switching helps to smooth dimming, minimise colour shifting, increase LED life and reduce heat.  This family also includes Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) such as the Configurable Logic Cell (CLC), Complementary Output Generator (COG) and Zero Cross Detect (ZCD).  These CIPs take 8-bit PIC MCU performance to a new level, as they are designed to handle tasks with no code or supervision from the CPU to maintain operation, after initial configuration.  As a result, they simplify the implementation of complex control systems and give designers the flexibility to innovate.  The CLC peripheral allows designers to create custom logic and interconnections specific to their application, reducing interrupt latency, saving code space and adding functionality.  The COG peripheral is a powerful waveform generator that can generate complementary waveforms with fine control of key parameters, such as phase, dead-band, blanking, emergency shut-down states and error-recovery strategies.  It provides a cost-effective solution, saving both board space and component cost.  The ZCD senses when high-voltage AC signal crosses through ground, which is ideal for TRIAC control functions.

These new 8-bit PIC MCUs provide the capability for multiple independent, closed-loop power channels and system management making these products appealing to various power supply, battery management, LED lighting, exterior/interior automotive lighting and general-purpose applications.  In addition to all of these features, the family offers EUSART, I2C/ SPI and eXtreme Low Power (XLP) Technology, and are offered in small form-factor packages, ranging from 14- and 20- pins.

The PIC16(L)F1769 family is supported by Microchip’s standard suite of world-class development tools, including the MPLAB ICD 3 (DV164035) priced at $199.95; the PICkit 3 (PG164130) priced at $47.95; and the MPLAB Code Configurator, which is a plug-in for Microchip’s free MPLAB X Integrated Environment (IDE) and provides a graphical method to configure 8-bit systems and peripheral features, taking designers from concept to prototype in minutes by automatically generating efficient and easily modified C code for each application.

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