New CLB module offers tailored hardware solutions

29-01-2024 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip Technology offers a tailored hardware solution with the release of its PIC16F13145 family of MCUs. Outfitted with a new CIP – the Configurable Logic Block (CLB) module – the MCUs facilitate the creation of hardware-based, custom combinational logic functions directly within the MCU. Because of its integration into the MCU, the CLB enables designers to optimise embedded control systems' speed and response time, eradicating the need for external logic components and decreasing BOM cost and power consumption. The process is further simplified by a graphical interface tool, which helps synthesise custom logic designs using the CLB. The family is designed for applications utilising custom protocols, task sequencing or I/O control to manage real-time control systems in the industrial and automotive sectors.

"The Configurable Logic Cell (CLC) Module has been integrated into Microchip MCUs for more than a decade, and the new CLB module is the next step in the evolution of our customisable logic offering, enabling this family of MCUs to be utilised in applications that are typically the domain of standalone programmable logic devices," said Greg Robinson, vice president of Microchip's 8-bit microcontroller business unit. "Few single-chip solutions in today's market address embedded engineers' design challenges like the PIC16F131 MCU family. The new MCUs handle custom logic functions, minimise power consumption, simplify designs and can accommodate changing design requirements."

Since the CLB's operation is not dependent on the CPU clock speed, it enhances the system's latency and supplies a low-power solution. The CLB can make logical decisions while the CPU is in sleep mode, reducing power consumption and software reliance. The PIC16F13145 MCUs also include a fast 10-bit ADC with built-in computation, an 8-bit DAC converter, fast comparators, 8- and 16-bit timers and serial communication modules (I2C and SPI) to allow many system-level tasks to be performed without the CPU. The family will be offered in various packages from eight pins up to 20 pins.

This family of MCUs is supported by the MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), a free software plug-in within MPLAB X IDE which provides an easy GUI-based interface to configure the device and on-board peripherals, including the CLB. This interface decreases development time as the desired custom logic can be designed schematically with options for an advanced user to utilise Hardware Description Language (HDL). The new synthesiser is offered in two options: integrated into MCC and online at logic.microchip.com. The PIC16F131 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit provides complete support for designing with the PIC16F131 family and these features coordinate for a seamless embedded development experience and decreased time to market.

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By Seb Springall