Fifty cents goes much farther than it used to in the 8-bit microcontroller market. Microchip is selling the PIC16C505 one-time-programmable (OTP) part for 49 cents, and the PIC16CR54C ROM device for 40 cents. The 14-pin parts provide an upward migration path to increased I/O capability for designs based on the company's 8-pin controllers. The OTP part sports 1,024312 words of program memory, 72 x 8 bytes of user RAM, 12 I/O pins, and a 4-MHz internal clock oscillator. The ROM version offers 512 x 12 words of ROM program memory, 25 bytes of user RAM, and 12 I/O pins. Both operate from 2.5 to 5.5V, use 33 single-word instructions, and offer a full-speed 200-nsec instruction cycle at 20 MHz. Microchip Technology: Product Code 4277
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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