Wireless connectivity is now an essential feature in numerous products, but it can also increase the price and complexity of designing systems as it must be integrated into the larger system. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq MCHHP) is introducing its first Arm Cortex (r)-M4F-based PIC microcontroller (MCU) family that solves this design problem of wireless connectivity by the integration of Bluetooth Low Energy functionality directly into one of the system’s most fundamental components, backed with one of the industries’ most complete ecosystems for developers.
“Our PIC32CXBZ2 MCU family eliminates obstacles that make it challenging to bring wireless-enabled applications to market, from access issues and complex challenges to certification issues for regulatory approvals and concerns about long-term support,” said Steve Caldwell Vice President for Microchip’s Wireless Solutions business division. “Our family seamlessly connects wireless connectivity to an MCU built on decades of expert knowledge and backed by a vertical approach to manufacturing which includes ICs and microchip’s software platforms that are highly integrated, module manufacturing in-house along with a determined obsolescence process.”
Microchip’s PIC32CX-BZ2 family includes System-on-Chip (SoC) devices as well as global regulatory-certified, RF-ready modules. Apart from Bluetooth Low Energy functionality, the entire family comes with Zigbee (r) stacks as well as Over the Air (OTA) updates. Features on the hardware include 12 bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) and multiple timers/counters to controls (TCC) channels as well as an on-board encryption system as well as a wide range of interfacing options to touch sensors, CAN display and other peripherals. The 1 MB of Flash memory is able to handle large applications codes as well as multiprotocol wireless stacks as well as OTA updates. AEC Q100 grade 1 (125 degC) qualified devices also simplify wireless connectivity integration when robust solutions are needed.
The PIC32CX-BZ2 family of MCUs simplifies development using microchip’s MPLAB (r) Harmony 32-bit embedded software development framework. MPLAB code configuration permits developers to swiftly start prototyping using the PIC32CX-BZ2 family through drag-and-drop automated code generation. A variety of code examples for applications are accessible on GitHub and accessible through MPLAB Code Configurator as well as MPLAB Discover. Designing RF with PIC32CX-BZ2 SoCs is made easier through the use of the chip-down reference design tools and wireless design checking services. Users with no experience with RF will benefit greatly from Microchip’s WBZ451 module which are certified to a variety of standards around the globe and come with an optimized onboard design for RF.
Alongside using the MPLAB Code Configurator it is also the MPLAB Harmony v3 framework includes many other tools as well as an array of debuggers programmers, virtual sniffers, and compilers. Other features include GitHub demonstration applications, documentation and Wireless design checking services and blocks of code that guide developers through the various steps that are involved in the development process. The PIC32CX family is supported through the PIC32CX-BZ2 as well as the WBZ451 Curiosity Development Board (Part number EV96B94A).