How to choose the right microcontroller for your project?

The microcontroller plays a key role in technological revolution that shape modern life. The list of possible microcontroller applications is long: Low-cost wearables, medical equipment, sophisticated consumer electronics, rugged industrial devices, state-of-the-art military and aerospace systems – these adaptable, affordable and easy-to-use components are a well-rounded addition. coming to virtually any electronic product.
Given a variety of templates, we have outlined some of the important features below to help you choose the right component for your project:

Microcontroller Critical Parameters

You need to identify your most important and specific requirements. Many peripherals and processing features will be available on virtually any modern microcontroller, so they are not interesting to narrow your search for the ideal item – for example, you don’t need to look for an MCU that offers basic serial communication, clock frequencies above 10 MHz, adequate amounts of Flash and RAM, an internal oscillator, general purpose timers, or an integrated debug module (they often use the JTAG interface).
The following points provide some examples of “less standard” features that help you narrow down the list of microcontrollers that may be appropriate for a given project.

Digital to Analog Converter

You won’t have a hard time finding an MCU that includes an analog to digital converter, but DACs are significantly less common. They are, however, very useful in certain applications and an integrated DAC is certainly much more convenient than an external DAC.

Analog to Digital Converter

ADCs are common, and this is true, but it is important to note that many microcontroller ADCs are in the low to moderate performance range. If you need an ADC with a very high resolution or sampling rate, you will need to make it a priority in your selection process.

Clock frequency

If you want a microcontroller that is more compatible with high-compute DSP functionality, you need to prioritize devices that support high work frequencies. Microchip, for example, has high performance 32-bit MCUs that operate at up to 300MHz.

Universal Serial Bus (USB)

The USB interface is a dominant form of serial communication, a highly effective means of transferring data between an embedded device and a PC, and within the context of consumer electronics is indispensable. If you are looking for a compact and straightforward method of incorporating USB connectivity into your system, I recommend focusing on microcontrollers that incorporate a USB module.

Capacitive touch sensor

Capacitive Touch Sensor is an increasingly popular form of user interface. Although this sensor is conceptually simple, the actual implementation can be quite complicated, and it is definitely useful to have a microcontroller specifically designed to support this type of interface. If you use touch sensors in your project, it is important to prioritize this feature when selecting parts.

Cost and package size

It is difficult to place these parameters in a specific part of the part selection process because their importance varies greatly from application to application. In some cases, you have plenty of board space and can completely ignore the size of the package, and the cost is often irrelevant for engineers who are developing prototypes or systems that will never be mass produced.
On the other hand, it is possible to find numerous electronic products that are very small and cheap, as well as they may have only one of these features, or be small or cheap. In such situations, you always need to be aware of the price and / or package size as you gradually filter parts based on their critical parameters and their preferred manufacturers.

Evaluation Hardware

Everyone from hobbyists to professional engineers can benefit from an affordable and carefully designed development board. This is usually the most painless and reliable way to evaluate a microcontroller and gain some familiarity with its programming interface and functional details. After restricting your search to some MCU models, it is important to check the availability and cost of development cards for these items.

Clarifying: what is microcontroller?

A microcontroller is an integrated circuit (IC) device used to control other parts of an electronic system, usually through a microprocessor unit (MPU), memory, and some peripherals.
These devices are optimized for embedded applications that require processing functionality and responsive interaction with digital, analog, or electromechanical components.
The most common way to refer to this category of integrated circuits is “microcontroller”, but the abbreviation “MCU” is used as a synonym for “microcontroller unit”. You may also occasionally see “µC (where the Greek letter µ replaces“ micro ”).
“Microcontroller” is a well-chosen name because it emphasizes the characteristics that define this product category. The prefix “micro” implies small size and the term “controller” refers to an improved ability to perform control functions. This functionality is the result of combining a digital processor and digital memory with additional hardware that is specifically designed to help the microcontroller interact with other components.
We hope this short guide will help you navigate the sometimes intimidating process of choosing a microcontroller from the thousands available commercially. Our team is always on hand to present the most current application options according to your project.

The Brazilian Internet of Things (IoT) Plan and how it affects the market

The Internet of Things is gaining more space every day. It seems that this caught the attention of the government, which in late June issued a presidential decree establishing the National Internet of Things Plan. The Plan aims to give more space to the development of the Internet of Things in Brazil, encouraging the implementation of new technologies.
Another important point that the National Plan defines is free competition and free movement of data, without leaving the security of personal data aside.
To develop this regulatory and incentive work, the first step will be the creation of the “Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things Communication Systems Development Management and Monitoring Chamber”, which will be responsible for monitoring and advising on the implementation of the National IoT.
The regulation and supervision will be in charge of Anatel, since IoT networks are considered telecommunication systems.

What changes in market with the National IoT Plan?

Among the attributions of the chamber that will be created are:
• Improve people’s quality of life and promote service efficiency gains through the implementation of IoT solutions;
• Promote professional training related to the development of IoT applications and job creation in the digital economy;
• Increase productivity and foster the competitiveness of Brazilian IoT developers by promoting an innovation ecosystem in this sector and
• Seek partnerships with the public and private sectors for IoT implementation;
Therefore, with the official plan, government will focus on market and invest even more in large solutions with private companies, as well as foster job creation and training programs in 4 priority verticals, defined by the government team. : agribusiness, health, smart cities and industry.
In practice, the IoT market tends to gain more visibility and grow with the establishment of the National Plan and the upcoming initiatives to come. According to Werter Padilha, coordinator of the IoT Committee of ABES (Brazilian Association of Software Companies), it is possible that Anatel will approve devices with more speed to enable this growth.

The General Data Protection Act and the National IoT Plan

LGPD is changing the way companies handle personal data in the country. However, according to Werter, who spoke to Canaltech on the subject, “compliance is not necessarily guaranteed to the device itself, but to its use and applicability. As we know, LGPD takes care of authorizing the use of personal information. So, for example, if a smart device — an edge-processing camcorder — records a person’s image and processes it, arriving at the simple assessment that it is male or female and, for example, triggers a display indicating an offer of men’s or women’s shoes, this does not infringe on the LGPD But this same camera could have the computational power to register the image of people by associating it with an image bank by linking the full name and other information; in the latter case if there is no authorization then we will have the law broken. Please note that the issue here is not the device itself, its technology or operational capability, but its applicability and how individual data will be stored and processed forever.
The National Plan of the Internet of Things came to officialize the new technologies in Brazil, with encouragement and control of the use of devices. The idea is to improve people’s quality of life through technology. This regulation is important because it brings security to the market, as well as new investments. It is a new moment for technology in country.

New Microchip SiC family

Microchip will offer a new family of SiC power modules. Initially, families of 700V, 700V and 1200V Schottky Barrier Diodes products will be produced, targeting electric vehicles and high power applications in industrial, aerospace and defense markets.
The discrete components and power modules are then available in different values ??of current, voltage and encapsulation types. They are intended for projects such as external charging stations, on-board chargers, DC-DC converters and transmission / traction controllers.
MOSFETs and Schottiky barrier diodes (SBD) SiC offer more efficient switching at high frequencies and undergo robustness tests at critical levels to ensure reliability. According to Microchip, their SiC MOSFETs also outperformed their competitors in ruggedness tests, demonstrating excellent gate oxide shielding and channel integrity, with little degradation in life even after 100,000 repetitive cycles of UIS (RUIS) tests.
SiC devices are supported by Microchip customer-oriented obsolescence practice, which ensures that devices will continue to be produced for as long as customers need them.
The company’s next generation SiC MOSFETs and Schottky Barrier SiC Diodes (SBDs) are designed with high unlimited inductive switching (UIS) capability, and their SiC MOSFETs maintain high UIS capacity at approximately 10-15 Joule per square centimeter and one Robust protection against short circuit from 3 to 5 milliseconds. The SiC SBDs of the company are designed with balanced values ??of surge current, direct voltage, resistances and thermal capacitances, for low values ??of reverse current, in order to reduce losses by switching. In addition, die SiC MOSFETs and SiC SBDs can be associated to be used in modules.
EV Charging block diagram
700V SiC MOSFETs and the 700V and 1200V SiC Schroeder Barrier Diodes integrate the SiC Microchip portfolio of power modules.
The expanded portfolio is supported by a number of SPICE models, reference designs for SiC Driver cards and Vienna rectifiers with PFCs. All of the company’s SiC power devices are available in production volumes along with their associated support offerings. A variety of die options and encapsulations are available for MOSFETs and SiC diodes.
Contact our specialized team to learn more.

Microchip AVR-IoT WG development board

Microchip IoT development board aims to simplify the development of IoT devices, making the process faster and less exhaustive.

IoT Challenges: Security and Communication Protocols

First, there were Wi-Fi SoCs and microcontrollers that allowed engineers to quickly create Internet-enabled products. It was not long before the term “IoT” was adopted and all manufacturers rushed to turn virtually anything and everything into an IoT product. However, this rapid race for production has created problems for industry and for customers.
One of the main problems has been security actions not implemented, which means hackers can easily hack into devices and use them maliciously. This is a constant struggle as printers, coolers and other IoT devices are still being recruited for large-scale DDoS attacks.
Second, without an industrial agreement on standards, most companies produced their own protocols for data transmission, which meant that one device of one company could not easily be used with other services. Solving these problems will be vital to the future of the IoT industry.

Microchip solution for IoT

AVR-IoT WG development board is a fully integrated IoT prototyping solution that allows you to create IoT projects within minutes. The board contains a hardware kit, including battery charging circuit, debugger, multiple sensors and GPIO.
At the heart of the AVR-IoT WG is the ATMEGA4808, which is an 8-bit microcontroller with a clock rate of 20MHz, up to 48KB of Flash, 6KB of SRAM and 256 bytes of EEPROM.
For Wi-Fi connectivity, the card contains a low power 2.4GHz b / g / n ATWINC1500 module that is connected via SPI and can be used with various network services including DHCP, DNS, TCP, UDP, HTTP and HTTPS.
Security is a major concern in the field of IoT, so AVR-IoT WG development board also integrates an ATECC608A cryptographic coprocessor that helps to offload cryptographic functions from the main processor. Integrated to the ATECC608A is storage protected for up to 16 elements (keys, certificates or data), hardware support for asymmetric signal, key verification and arrangement, hardware support for symmetric algorithms (SHA-256 and AES-128), support secure boot, guaranteed 72-bit exclusive serial number and integrated random number generator.

AVR-IoT has an integrated debugger, the nEDBG, which acts as a virtual communication port, a debugger, and a data gateway. But the most important feature of nEDBG is undoubtedly the appearance of a mass storage device that allows drag-and-drop programming. This means that a compiled program can simply be dragged into the AVR-IoT WG as if it were a removable device such as a USB flash drive.

According to Microchip, the AVR-IoT WG integrates an MCP381-based charger circuit to connect external lithium-ion batteries, which eliminates the need for any additional circuitry. This allows the AVR-IoT WG to be integrated into most consumer prototype scenarios, without the need to design power control circuits.
The AVR-IoT WG card also features two LEDs for power indication, where the red LED indicates battery charge and low voltage and the green LED indicates charging is complete.

The board can be used with Google Cloud IoT, which incorporates authentication solutions, including using reliable hardware root, simple code implementation based on the JSON Web Token. It has no reliance on TLS thanks to the JWT architecture. Another useful feature of Google Cloud IoT is the creation of smart and secure nodes.
To learn more about the Microchip news and the IoT world, follow our social networks: Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin.

Microsemi, the new Microchip subsidiary

Microsemi, which offers semiconductor solutions and systems for the communications, defense and security, aerospace and industrial markets, was acquired by Microchip. The company is based in Aliso Viejo, California, where it produces high-performance and radiation-resistant analog mixed signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; integrated solutions to Microchip’s portfolio.

Polar Fire FPGA

Among the solutions, Microsemi’s new portfolio of FPGAs and Soc FPGAs includes the Polar Fire FPGA series with several advantages:

  • Optimized cost, with the lowest energy consumption in its class </ li>
  • 1K to 500K logical elements </ li>
  • High speed serial communication with multi-gigabit / multi-protocol transceivers from 250 Mbps to 12.7 Gbps </ li>
  • DSP blocks with pre-adders running at 450MHz for 4K2K image signal processing </ li>
  • Hi-Speed ??I / O (HSIO) supporting up to 1600 Mbps DDR4, 1333 Mbps DDR3L, and 1333 Mbps LPDDR3 / DDR3 </ li>
  • Integrated Cryptographic Processor </ li>
  • GPIO with built-in 3.3V CDR support to support SGMII for Gigabit Ethernet </ li>
  • Versatile Subsystem with Integrated Multi-Core RISC-V CPU </ li>
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    Mi-V ecosystem

    The new Microsemi portfolio also includes a set of tools and design features, the Mi-V ecosystem, designed to support and encourage the adoption of RISC-V projects.
    MI-V ecosystem features: </ strong>

    • First Architecura RISC-V SoC FPGA </ li>
    • RISC-V CPUs </ li>
    • Enables your own processor implementation using open source ISA (architecture set architecture) </ li>
    • Open IP RISC-V architecture and extensive software solutions for embedded systems </ li>
    • Implementations available for the PolarFire, RTG4, and IGLOO2 FPGA lines </ li>
      </ ul>

      SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs

      These flash FPGA devices are ideal for general functions such as Gigabit Ethernet or dual PCI Express control plans, bridge functions, I / O expansion and conversion, video / image processing, system management, and secure connectivity
      Component features:

      • Arm® Cortex®-M3 with embedded flash memory </ li>
      • PCIe Gen2 support in 10K logical elements </ li>
      • Complete microcontrollable subsystem </ li>
      • Up to 150k logical elements, 5MB SRAM and 4MB Envm </ li>
      • DDR2 / 3 667 Mbps drivers </ li>
      • Integrated DSP processing blocks </ li>
      • Typical power consumption up to 7 mW in standby </ li>
      • AES256, SHA256 cryptographic protection and NVM data integrity check </ li>

      IGLOO2 FPGAs

      Ideal for general functions such as Gigabit Ethernet or dual PCI Express control planes, bridge functions, I / O expansion and conversion, video / image processing, system management, and secure connectivity. Microsemi FPGAs are used in the Communications, Industrial, Medical, Defense and Aviation markets.

      • PCIe Gen2 support in 10K logical elements </ li>
      • Higher I / Os density </ li>
      • 5K to 150K logical elements, 512KB of embedded flash, 2x32K SRAM, 2DMA </ li>
      • DDR2 / 3 667 Mbps drivers </ li>
      • Integrated DSP processing blocks </ li>
      • Typical power consumption up to 7 mW in standby </ li>
      • AES256, SHA256 cryptographic protection and NVM data integrity check </ li>

      How Microsemi FPGAs can interact with Microchip components:

      To learn more about the architecture and use of the Microsemi </ strong> components, contact with our specialized team .

Honeywell components for medical industry

Equipment applied to medical service follows strict control of national and international standards. They are to be followed, documentation and certifications to be achieved so that, finally, an equipment is approved and ready for the market.
Certainly, this rigidity is necessary when it comes to health. Therefore, following the line of excellence required for this market, it is essential that all components and electronic sensors are aligned with superior performance. And that’s where Honeywell products come in, a giant renowned in many industries.

Benefits of sensors and switches for medicine

Honeywell’s embedded technology across its product range provides medical device designers with a sensor or switch solution that meets their performance and quality needs.
The main characteristics of this type of project are met:

  • Accuracy </ li>
  • Stability </ li>
  • Possibility of customization </ li>
  • Easy deployment </ li>
  • Reducing and controlling costs </ li>
  • Small size to allow use in compact projects </ li>
  • Improving patient safety </ li>
  • Improving the quality of patient care </ li>

In addition to the benefits that the technology itself offers, the experience in the application engineering of our team completes the advantages of the line of components for the medical industry.

Honeywell medical components

The use of Honeywell components is vast in the medical industry, the line features pressure sensors, airflow sensors, magnetic sensors, barcode reading engine or software, thermistors, position sensors, humidity sensors, basic switches subminiature and pressure switches. Its use in the development of machinery and equipment mainly covers:

  • Anesthesia delivery machines
  • Dental equipment
  • Hospital Diagnostics
  • Hospital Hardware
  • Hospital Room Equipment
  • Infusion, insulin and syringe pump equipment
  • Renal dialysis machines
  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Pneumatic Circuit Control
  • Sleep apnea machines
  • Spirometers
  • Surgical Equipment
  • Fans

The use of components is not limited to such equipment, but opens a wide range of quality options to support innovation in this area.
To know the products focused in the area of medicine in detail, click here or contact us .

About Honeywell

Honeywell creates and manufactures technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges in energy, safety, productivity and global urbanization. Honeywell’s engineering seeks to merge physical products with software to support connected systems that improve buildings, factories, utilities and aircraft, and enable a safer, more comfortable, and more productive world.
Its products are marketed in Brazil by the Autcomp Group engineers, who also support its most diverse applications.

New Microchip SAM R34 / 35 component for LoRa technology

Microchip has introduced a new component for LoRa® technology, integrated with the LoRa® System-in- Package family, which offers the lowest power consumption for long-range projects. The R34 / R35 SAM includes a low-power, high-performance 32-bit microcontroller (MCU), LoRa® transceiver and integrated LoRaWAN Stack.
With certified reference projects and proven interoperability with leading LoRaWAN gateway and network providers, SAM R34 / 35 SiPs components significantly reduce the time to market for Internet of Things (IoT) projects.

LoRa® technology

LoRa® technology, an acronym for Long Range, uses radio frequency for long-distance communications, always seeking the least energy. The use of Sub-GHz radio frequencies and the low consumption allow communication in places with low RF penetration and use in distances of up to 5km in urban areas and 15km in rural areas.
These features are perfect for the application of LoRa® technology in IoT (or Internet of Things) projects, with sensors and remote monitors as controls of pressure, light and temperature, for example. Therefore, this technology has been gaining more and more space in this market.

The SAM R34/35 benefits

A compact and highly integrated solution, the SAM R34 / 35 is the component that uses the least amount of power to operate, with high speed and up to 5 serial communication interfaces. Check out the features:

Compact, highly integrated solution

  • Arm Cortex M0+ MCU & LoRa Radio
  • 6×6 mm compact BGA package
  • Up to 256 KB Flash accommodates application code and stack
  • Up to 40 KB RAM including 8KB LP-RAM
  • One full-speed 12 Mbps USB and up to five Serial Communication Interfaces (SERCOM), each configurable as USART, I2C, SPI or LIN
  • 12-bit, 1 Msps Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with up to eight external channels
  • Two analog comparators with window compare function

Radio Feature Highlights

  • 862 MHz to 1020 MHz coverage
  • Up to 20 dBm (100 mW) max power
  • Up to +13 dBm (20 mW) high-efficiency PA
  • High sensitivity
  • Down to -136 dBm (LoRaWAN™ protocol compliant modes)
  • Down to -148 dBm (proprietary narrowband modes)
  • Up to 168 dB maximum link budget
  • Low RX current of 17 mA (typical)
  • LoRa Technology, (G)FSK, (G)MSK and OOK Modulation
  • Automatic RF Sense and CAD with ultra-fast Automatic Frequency Control (AFC) Packet Engine up to 256 bytes with Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)


The applications of this new component are diverse. The manufacturer aims to make LoRa® networks smarter and faster.
Some segments that may benefit from this release, according to Microchip:

Smart Agriculture

  • Cattle Tracking
  • Irrigation Monitoring
  • Smart Tractors

Supply Chain and Logistics

  • Container Tracking
  • Cold Chain Monitoring
  • Vehicle Tracking

Smart City

  • Street Lighting
  • Waste Management
  • Metering and Leak Detection


Reference projects for technology development

Microchip offers several reference materials for those who want to start developing with their solutions:
Kit de Avaliação SAM R34 Xplained Pro
The SAM R34 Xplained Pro is a hardware platform designed to evaluate the SAM R34 family of LoRa devices. This FCC, ISED and RED certified board is not only an evaluation platform but also an excellent reference design for developing SAM R34 based LoRa end-node applications.
IDP Atmel Studio 7
IDP Atmel Studio 7 is the integrated development platform (IDP) for developing and debugging all AVR® and SAM microcontroller applications. The Atmel Studio 7 IDP gives you a seamless and easy-to-use environment to write, build and debug your applications written in C/C++ or assembly code. It also connects seamlessly to the debuggers, programmers and development kits that support AVR and SAM devices.
To learn more about this launch and other products related to LoRa technology, click here and contact us with our consultants.

Microchip ATECC608A Secure Authentication with The Things Industries (TTI)

LoRa networks, mainly used in IoT (Internet of Things) projects, have an admittedly safety standard. However its low-power long-range feature encourages the increased use of this technology, and concern for the security of data transmitted between devices and servers.
The two security levels used as default use authentication keys stored on the application and network servers. The concern is that this key store can become a vulnerability, intruders looking for ways to access the stored codes.

Secure Microchip Authentication

This vulnerability motivated Microchip, a worldwide manufacturer of microcontrollers, to develop ATECC608A, an integrated encryption and authentication circuitry that enables secure, protected key storage on the LoRaWAN node and backend, promoting secure authentication by removing authentication keys to software, firmware, manufacturing sites, end users and other third parties.
The process of adding hardware-safe key storage is made easier by using the secure ATECC608A element by pairing it with the The Things Industries (TTI) </ strong> membership server service for complete secure authentication. The corresponding AES128 authentication keys are also hosted and secured on the TTI managed membership servers.

How TTI works

The services industries server architecture makes the security of LoRaWAN connections easy and portable. This service is independent of the network server, independent of the application server and offers the ability to protect your connection.
For secure authentication, when a device identifies itself to a LoRaWAN network, it contacts the The Things Industries server to verify that the source is a trusted device. The derived session keys are then safely sent to your preferred network server and application server. Things Industries membership server supports any LoRaWAN network, from commercially operated networks to private networks built on open source components.
Microchip and The Things Industries have also partnered to make the LoRaWAN integration process seamless and secure. LoRaWAN device identities are claimed by The Things Industries Join Server with minimal intervention, eliminating the need for developers to have security expertise. Customers can not only choose any LoRaWAN network, but can also migrate to any other LoRaWAN membership server by recoding the device. This means that no vendor has full control over where and how the device keys are stored.
The partnership includes a one-year service The Things Industries for each Microchip device, with the option to extend the service after that period.

About Autcomp Group

Autcomp Group operates in the electronic components market, offering products and solutions from the most renowned manufacturers in the world for 27 years. In that time, the two business units that comprise the group have served more than 2,000 customers.
To learn more about the market launches and other products related to LoRa technology, click here and contact us </ strong> </ a> with our consultants.