Low Pin Count Microcontrollers Ahead of the Game with Their I3C Capabilities

28 September 2023

The PIC18-Q20 series from Microchip is fully prepared for the ramp up in edge-based data generation.

These compact 8-bit microcontroller units are the first low pin count devices on the market to feature improved inter-integrated circuit (I3C) interfacing technology. They are based on a RISC architecture and are capable of running at 64MHz. Up to 64kBytes of program flash memory and 4kBytes of SRAM resource have been incorporated. Intended for use in real-time control, data connectivity, sensor processing and the support of touch-based interaction, across a broad array of potential industry sectors, a PIC18-Q20 can be implemented alongside a system’s primary microcontroller - taking responsibility for tasks that the primary microcontroller won’t be able to perform as efficiently. While the central processing unit (CPU) runs at a different voltage domain, the I3C peripheral operates from 1.0V to 3.6V supply. In comparison to I2C, I3C provides accelerated data rates and markedly curbed power usage, while still being backward compatibility with legacy systems. The devices in this series are supplied in 14-pin and 20-pin package formats with 3mm x 3mm dimensions. 

“One of the main barriers to large-scale IoT adoption is the cost of implementing an edge node. With the PIC18-Q20 family of MCUs, Microchip is helping to break down that barrier,” notes Greg Robinson, CVP of Microchip’s 8-bit MCU business unit. “By introducing the industry’s first low pin count MCU with I3C we are enabling flexible, cost-effective scaling of IoT applications and embracing the new standard communications interface.” 

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