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New Microchip PIC32 Microcontrollers Run at 72MHz

By Bill Giovino
Nov 5, 2007 - 2:36:00 PM

The new Microchip PIC32 is a new 32-bit MCU family based on the MIPS32 M4K architecture, running at 72MHz and up to 512KBytes of Flash
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CHANDLER, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2007 - Microchip Technology today announced the new Microchip PIC32 family of MIPS 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs).

The Microchip PIC32 is based upon the MIPS32 M4K Core, a high performance core with 32 core registers that are each 32-bits. Microchip has extended the functionality of the M4K core with some unique proprietary enhancements, including an 8-word prefetch queue with branch prediction. The prefetch buffer can also be used as a mini-cache, to lock either four 32-bit instructions or eight 16-bit instructions, allowing small loops of code to achieve top speed execution.

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Microchip PIC32 Microcontroller Block Diagram
Microchip PIC32 Microcontroller Block Diagram
Microchip's PIC32 enjoys very broad 3rd party development tools support, including a wealth of compilers, debuggers Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), debuggers, and compilers from 11 vendors.

Microchip's 16-bit shipments have quadrupled in the past two years, growing faster than their 8-bit business. Microchip's PIC32 is targeted to further extend this growth. One reason why Microchip chose the MIPS M4K is that the architecture shares a close compatibility with Microchip's existing 16-bit PIC24 and dsPIC microcontrollers, allowing Microchip's customers to easily migrate existing 16-bit designs to the PIC32.

First members of the Microchip PIC32 32-bit MCU family have up to 512KBytes of Flash with 32KBytes of RAM.

Microchip PIC32 Advantages
Microchip PIC32 MIPS core advantages include:

  • MIPS32 M4K Core
  • 72MHz Operation
  • Manufactured in Microchip's proprietary 0.18µ process
  • Support for 32-bit and 16-bit instructions (MIPS16e™ 16 bit ISA)
  • 1.5 DMIPS/MHz using 32-bit instructions
  • 1.2 DMIPS/MHz using 16-bit instructions
  • A prefetch buffer with branch prediction, with cache, that fetches four 32-bit instructions at one time
  • A hardware vectored interrupt controller compatible with Microchip's existing 16-bit products
  • Single-cycle 32x16 Multiply
  • Two-cycle 32x32 Multiply
  • Pin and Peripheral Compatible with Microchip's existing PIC24 and dsPIC microcontrollers

The Microchip PIC32 core contains instructions for AND and OR of immediate data, allowing Bit Set and Bit Reset of multiple bits of a single register in one instruction. In addition, the PIC32 peripheral registers have enhancements for fast bit manipulation not found on the MIPS4K architecture.

Moving to a MIPS core is a boon to MIPS, and a shock to many. When asked why Microchip did not choose to introduce a brand new 32-bit core, Patrick Johnson, Microchip's Director of the High Performance MCU Division, commented "A new 32-bit core would be too support intensive", adding that software and RTOS support for a brand new 32-bit core would be huge.

Microchip PIC32 Development Tool Support
Supported by a new release of Microchip's MPLAB IDE Tool Suite, MPLAB Version 8 now supports the Microchip PIC32 and is further enhanced to support 32-bit development. The MPLAB C32 C Compiler is C source compatible with all of Microchip's existing products

According to Ganesh Moorthy, Executive Vice President of Microchip, "We now provide designers with the most compatible environment in the industry for developing systems with 8-, 16-, and 32-bit MCUs!"

On-Chip Debug has been enhanced for the Microchip PIC32, with a 2-wire debug interface (JTAG is also available). 8 hardware breakpoints are supported (6 instruction, 2 data). There is also an On-Chip non-intrusive instruction trace which can be monitored from 5 I/O pins. The instruction trace can be triggered by setting complex breakpoints.

All Microchip PIC32 products are supported by Microchip’s own development tools, including the MPLAB IDE, the MPLAB C32 C compiler (GNU based), the MPLAB REAL ICE™ emulation system, the MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger and the Explorer-16 development board.

The PIC32 Starter Kit has a USB interface, which also powers the board. The Starter Kit comes with an MCU board, the MPLAB IDE and MPLAB C32 C compiler, documentation, sample projects, tutorials, and schematics. 16-bit compatible peripheral libraries are also included.

The PIC32 is launching with very broad 3rd party tool support.

  • Complete software development tool sets are available from Ashling, Green Hills and Hi-Tech - including C and C++ compilers, IDEs and debuggers.
  • Real time Operating Systems (RTOS) are available from CMX, Express Logic, FreeRTOS, Micrium, Segger and Pumpkin.
  • Graphics tools providers include EasyGUI, Segger, RamTeX and Micrium.

Available Free Software Libraries include:

  • FAT16 file system
  • Bootloader-over-IP
  • TCP/IP Stacks (both BSD and Microchip)
  • FTP Server
  • SNMP Agent
  • Web Server
  • Graphics Libraries available by March 2008.

All software libraries are free and include full source code

Pricing and Availability
The first seven members of the PIC32 family come in 64- or 100-pin TQFP packages.  Prices start at $2.95 each, in 10,000-unit quantities, for the PIC32MX300F032H—which has 32 KB Flash and 8KB RAM in a 64-pin TQFP.  The PIC32MX360F512L, with 512 KB Flash and 32 KB RAM in a 100-pin TQFP, is priced at $5.30 each in 10,000-unit quantities.  The PIC32 family has been sampling into early adopter designs, and is now available for general sampling.  Volume production for all seven members is expected in Q2 2008. 


Microchip PIC32 First Devices
Microchip PIC32 First Devices

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:  MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide.  Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality.

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New Microchip PIC32 Microcontrollers Run at 72MHz

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Product data and specifications in this article are the responsibility of the manufacturer. No warrenty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of manufacturer-supplied data. So there.
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