Microchip Technology Inc. (Microchip), a US-based provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, has introduced new PIC18F87J90 8-bit direct LCD-drive microcontrollers (MCUs) with nanoWatt Technology. The new 64- and 80-pin devices extend the memory reach and peripheral set of company's LCD MCU portfolio. The new PIC18F87J90 devices offer an easy migration path across company's complete LCD-drive MCU family and the simplified application upgrades.

The new PIC18F87J90 devices are pin compatible with company’s PIC18F85J90 devices. The new 64- and 80-pin devices feature 64 – 128 KB Flash and the 4 KB RAM, and this 8-bit MCU incorporate a real-time clock and calendar (RTCC), and charge time measurement unit (CTMU) peripheral for capacitive touch sensing or precise time measurement.

Several designers want to improve and add the features to their display applications like capacitive or the inductive touch user interfaces. The new PIC18F87J90 products meet this need head-on, with their extensive memory range and the integrated peripheral set incorporating the CTMU. With company’s new nanoWatt Technology, the new MCUs help maintain the system’s low-power ratings, and can even drive display in sleep mode to conserve power. In addition, the onboard LCD module includes a software-programmable contrast controller, which offers display boost or dimming and compensates for the environmental elements like temperature and lighting. The on-chip hardware RTCC works even in the sleep mode to allow real-time tracking and the lower power consumption.

Microchip’s PIC18F87J90 MCUs expand our portfolio of cost-effective LCD products. For example, in electrical power meters, the extended memory, RTCC and multiple serial channels deliver a highly cost-effective feature set, stated Mitch Obolsky, vice president of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. Obolsky continued, These new MCUs offer a drop-in upgrade in features and memory to our popular low-cost PIC18F85J90 LCD family, serving a wide spectrum of applications.

The new PIC18F87J90 MCUs are designed for the cost-sensitive embedded display applications in consumer: white goods, game controllers, exercise equipment, thermostat and counter top appliances; industrial: home-alarm/security-system keypads, power meters, data logging and central AC communication controllers; medical: flow meters, patient monitors, laboratory instruments and home-diagnostic devices; and automotive markets: dashboard and control panels.

Development Tool Support:

To get started with new PIC18F87J90 family, the customers can use the PICDEM LCD 2 Demo Board, part # DM163030, $125, in combination with the PIC18F87J90 Plug-In Module, part # MA180025, $25, which incorporates capacitive-touch buttons.

In addition, the new PIC18F87J90 family is supported by company’s standard development tool suite, incorporating the free MPLAB integrated development environment (IDE), the MPLAB C Compiler for PIC18 and MPLAB ICD 3 In-Circuit Debugger, part # DV164035. The MPLAB IDE comes with the free segmented display GUI, which makes it easy to generate the code needed to drive LCD displays.

Device Packaging, Pricing & Availability:

The new PIC18F87J90 family ranges from 64 KB to 128 KB flash program memory in 64- and 80-pin packages. The prices for the new MCUs begin at $2.58 in 10,000-unit quantities.