Microchip to release low-end PIC32 line to compete with cheap ARM MCUs

I was checking out V2 of Microchip’s C32 compiler, a much needed update to the MIPS GCC 4.5 compiler. When I looked at the release notes, they the compiler supported a bunch of part numbers I had never seen before. Here is the device support table:

Part Number Part Number Part Number Part Number
PIC32MX110F016B
PIC32MX110F016C
PIC32MX110F016D
PIC32MX120F032B
PIC32MX120F032C
PIC32MX120F032D
PIC32MX210F016B
PIC32MX210F016C
PIC32MX210F016D
PIC32MX220F032B
PIC32MX220F032C
PIC32MX220F032D
PIC32MX320F032H
PIC32MX320F064H
PIC32MX320F128H
PIC32MX320F128L
PIC32MX340F128H
PIC32MX340F128L
PIC32MX340F256H
PIC32MX340F512H
PIC32MX360F256L
PIC32MX360F512L
PIC32MX420F032H
PIC32MX440F128H
PIC32MX440F128L
PIC32MX440F256H
PIC32MX440F512H
PIC32MX460F256L
PIC32MX460F512L
PIC32MX534F064H
PIC32MX534F064L
PIC32MX564F064H
PIC32MX564F064L
PIC32MX564F128H
PIC32MX564F128L
PIC32MX575F256H
PIC32MX575F256L
PIC32MX575F512H
PIC32MX575F512L
PIC32MX664F064H
PIC32MX664F064L
PIC32MX664F128H
PIC32MX664F128L
PIC32MX675F256H
PIC32MX675F256L
PIC32MX675F512H
PIC32MX675F512L
PIC32MX695F512H
PIC32MX695F512L
PIC32MX764F128H
PIC32MX764F128L
PIC32MX775F256H
PIC32MX775F256L
PIC32MX775F512H
PIC32MX775F512L
PIC32MX795F512H
PIC32MX795F512L

The part’s on the left in green are the new ones. I did a search for the first part number (PIC32MX110F016B). It was already in the Newark database although not in stock. Newark has it listed at $1.98 with the following specs:

PIC32, 16KB Flash, 4KB RAM, 40 MHz, CTMU, 4 DMA 28 QFN 6x6mm TUBE

This makes sense. PIC32 used to to rank well on the list of low-cost 32-bit MCUs. These days the slew of new value-line ARM Cortex M0 and Cortex M3 MCUs make it look rather expensive. If the Newark price of $1.98 at QTY 183 is correct, it makes the PIC32 somewhat competitive price-wise. I am glad, I would love to see an ultra low-cost 32-bit alternative to ARM. For comparison, here are some of the cheaper ARM chips. The prices listed are also from Newark at QTY 250:

STM32F100C4T6B STM32 Series 32-bit 16 kB Flash 4 kB RAM ARM Based Microcontroller – LQFP-48 $1.60
LPC1111FHN33/101,5 LPC1111 Series 32 Bit 8K flash 2K RAM Arm Cortex Microcontroller – HVQFN-33 $1.10
LPC1313FHN33,551 LPC1311 Series 32 Bit 32K Flash 8K RAM ARM Cortex-M3 Microcontroller – HVQFN-33 $1.72
LM3S300-IQN25-C2 MCU 32-Bit Stellaris ARM Cortex M3 RISC 16KB Flash 4K RAM 3.3V 48-Pin LQFP $3.43

So if that data is correct, the PIC32 would be ahead of TI but still a bit higher than the cheapest parts from ST and NXP. Of course, I don’t know the whole story without the datasheet. I am sure the PIC32 will have it’s own unique advantages.

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