New Microchip PIC32 Microcontrollers Run at 72MHz
CHANDLER, Ariz., Nov. 5, 2007 – Microchip Technology today announced the new Microchip PIC32 family of MIPS 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs).
The Microchip PIC32 is based upon the MIPS32 M4K Core, a high performance core with 32 core registers that are each 32-bits. Microchip has extended the functionality of the M4K core with some unique proprietary enhancements, including an 8-word prefetch queue with branch prediction. The prefetch buffer can also be used as a mini-cache, to lock either four 32-bit instructions or eight 16-bit instructions, allowing small loops of code to achieve top speed execution.
Microchip’s PIC32 enjoys very broad 3rd party development tools support, including a wealth of compilers, debuggers Real Time Operating Systems (RTOS), debuggers, and compilers from 11 vendors.
Microchip’s 16-bit shipments have quadrupled in the past two years, growing faster than their 8-bit business. Microchip’s PIC32 is targeted to further extend this growth. One reason why Microchip chose the MIPS M4K is that the architecture shares a close compatibility with Microchip’s existing 16-bit PIC24 and dsPIC microcontrollers, allowing Microchip’s customers to easily migrate existing 16-bit designs to the PIC32.
First members of the Microchip PIC32 32-bit MCU family have up to 512KBytes of Flash with 32KBytes of RAM.
Microchip PIC32 Advantages
Microchip PIC32 MIPS core advantages include:
- MIPS32 M4K Core
- 72MHz Operation
- Manufactured in Microchip’s proprietary 0.18µ process
- Support for 32-bit and 16-bit instructions (MIPS16e™ 16 bit ISA)
- 1.5 DMIPS/MHz using 32-bit instructions
- 1.2 DMIPS/MHz using 16-bit instructions
- A prefetch buffer with branch prediction, with cache, that fetches four 32-bit instructions at one time
- A hardware vectored interrupt controller compatible with Microchip’s existing 16-bit products
- Single-cycle 32×16 Multiply
- Two-cycle 32×32 Multiply
- Pin and Peripheral Compatible with Microchip’s existing PIC24 and dsPIC microcontrollers
The Microchip PIC32 core contains instructions for AND and OR of immediate data, allowing Bit Set and Bit Reset of multiple bits of a single register in one instruction. In addition, the PIC32 peripheral registers have enhancements for fast bit manipulation not found on the MIPS4K architecture.
Moving to a MIPS core is a boon to MIPS, and a shock to many. When asked why Microchip did not choose to introduce a brand new 32-bit core, Patrick Johnson, Microchip’s Director of the High Performance MCU Division, commented “A new 32-bit core would be too support intensive“, adding that software and RTOS support for a brand new 32-bit core would be huge.
Microchip PIC32 Development Tool Support
Supported by a new release of Microchip’s MPLAB IDE Tool Suite, MPLAB Version 8 now supports the Microchip PIC32 and is further enhanced to support 32-bit development. The MPLAB C32 C Compiler is C source compatible with all of Microchip’s existing products
According to Ganesh Moorthy, Executive Vice President of Microchip, “We now provide designers with the most compatible environment in the industry for developing systems with 8-, 16-, and 32-bit MCUs!”
For more detail: New Microchip PIC32 Microcontrollers Run at 72MHz