Latest PIC microcontrollers add Bluetooth LE connectivity

Adding wireless connectivity to a product can be hampered by the cost and complexity of system design since it is generally added as part of the larger application, said Microchip Technology. The company addresses this with the introduction of its first Arm Cortex-M4F-based PIC microcontroller family which integrates Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) functionality directly into one of a system’s most basic components, supported by one of the industry’s most comprehensive developer ecosystems.

The PIC32CX-BZ2 family includes SoC devices and regulatory-certified, RF-ready modules. There is Bluetooth Low Energy coupled with Zigbee stacks and over the air (OTA) update capabilities. There is also a 12-bit ADC, multiple timer / counters for control channels, an on-board encryption engine and a broad set of interfaces to touch, CAN, sensor, display and other peripherals. 

The 1Mbyte of flash memory supports large application codes, multi-protocol wireless stacks and OTA updates. The packages are AEC-Q100 Grade 1-certified with an operating temperature up to 125 degrees C.

For development support there is Microchip’s MPLab Harmony 32-bit embedded software development framework. MPLab Code Configurator integration enables developers to quickly begin prototyping with the PIC32CX-BZ2 development board using drag-and-drop auto code generation. There are application code examples hosted on GitHub and linked through MPLab Code Configurator and MPLab Discover. There are also reference design packages and wireless design check services. Customers with little to no RF expertise can benefit from Microchip’s WBZ451 modules, said the company. These are pre-certified and feature an optimised on-board RF design. 

In addition to the MPLab Code Configurator, the MPLab Harmony v3 framework includes an ecosystem of debuggers, programmers, virtual sniffer and compilers. 

The PIC32CX-ZB2 family is in-stock and available now. PIC32CX1012BZ25048-I and PIC32CX1012BZ25048-E SoCs ship in a 7.0 x 7.0mm 48 QFN package. The WBZ451PE-I and the WBZ451UE-I modules are supplied with an on-board PCB antenna and a U.FL connector.

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