Low-power microcontrollers offer more security and double Flash memory

25-08-2015 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip has announced the expansion of its eXtreme Low Power (XLP) PI
microcontroller (MCU) portfolio. Features of the new PIC24F GB4 family
include an integrated hardware crypto engine with both OTP and Key RAM
options for secure key storage, up to 256KB of Flash memory and a direct
drive for segmented LCD displays, in 64-, 100- or 121-pin packages.
Dual-partition Flash with Live Update capability allows the devices to hold
two independent software applications, and permits the simultaneous
programming of one partition while executing application code from the
other. These advanced features make the PIC24F GB4 family ideal for
designers of industrial, computer, medical / fitness and portable
applications that require secure data transfer and storage, and a long
battery life, says the company.

To protect embedded data, several Microchip Core Independent Peripherals
(CIPs) that run without the CPU are integrated into the PIC24F GB4 family.
The fully featured hardware crypto engine, which includes support for the
AES, DES and 3DES standards, reduces software overhead, lowers power
consumption and enables faster throughput. A Random Number Generator is used
for generating random keys for data encryption, decryption and
authentication, enabling a higher level of security. For additional
protection, this family offers the flexibility of choosing from two
crypto-key storage options: One-Time-Programmable (OTP) to prevent
overwriting keys, or Key RAM that erases keys if power is lost. To allow the
application's Real-Time Clock to continue running when primary power is
removed, a VBAT pin can be used to supply back-up power.

Reducing system components, a segmented LCD display driver provides the
ability to directly drive up to 512 segments, enabling more informative and
flexible displays that include descriptive icons and scrolling.

The PIC24F GB4 family is supported by Microchip's standard suite of
world-class development tools, including the PIC24FJ256GB410 Plug-In Module
(MA240038) for the Explorer 16 Development Board (DM240001). Product
variants are available with USB (PIC24FJXXXGB4XX) and without USB

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