Microchip PIC32MZ Press Release

Josef van Niekerk" rel="author">Josef van Niekerk

On the 18th of November, Microchip Technology Inc. published a press release, revealing some exciting features of their new PIC32MZ 32-bit MCU family range. There has been some rumour about the new PIC32MX, but Microchip has finally updated their site with datasheets and a product page containing some information on the product, that will soon be available.

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Microchip states in their press release that the new range runs at around 330DMIPS/200MHz, and achieves a benchmarking score of 2.28 Coremarks/MHz, running at around 3 times the performance of the older PIC32MX families. All this is thanks to the Imagination MIPS microAptiv Core. The microAptiv core uses Imagination’s microMIPS technology which is a :

high performance code compression technology that combines optimized 16- and 32-bit instructions in single, unified Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs)

The core also adds a whopping 159 DSP instructions, which means that execution of DSP algorithms execute at 75% fewer cycles than the older architecture.

With 30% improved code density, the PIC32MZ does not fall short of features, and I believe it’s going to become a serious competitor for some ARM MCUs.

Memory wise, the MCU hosts dual-panel live update flash memory of up to 2MB in size and a decent 512KB of RAM. It also features 16KB of L1 program cache, an additional 4KB of Data cache and a Memory Management Unit (MMU), which is used for virtual addressing. The live update feature allows the flash to be updated in the field while the application code is still running.

A feature that stands out for this MCU range, which is also a first for Microchip microcontrollers, is that the PIC32MZ family comes standard with High Speed USB with host, device and OTG support. Previous Microchip MCUs only featured USB Full Speed which ran at 12Mbps or at the much slower USB 1, 1.5Mbps. USB High Speed runs at 480Mbps, and allows for so much more data throughput. With older chips, like the PIC32MX250F128B, which supports USB Full Speed, it was fairly easy to breadboard a fully functional USB implementation, but with the new PIC32MZ, I guess breadboarding is going to be out of the question, as these higher speeds are bound to require much stricter PCB layout design.

Other features range from up to 28 channels of 12 bit 28 Msps ADC with sample and hold, accurate to within 0.5 LSB, 9x PWM output compare channels, 9x 32-bit timers, 8 channel DMA, up to 18 channels for peripheral specific DMA. For communication there are plenty of choices on the table including 10/100 Ethernet, CAN 2.0b, UART, SPI, I2C and I2S. The MCU can run a WQVGA (400px x 240px), which is about the size of the Nintendo 3DS screen, without the need of an external video graphics driver chip.

More cool stuff I probably won’t get to play with right away includes SQI, which is a synchronous serial interface that provides access to serial Flash memories and other serial devices, according to the PIC32 family reference material. Another interesting item is an EBI module, which is a high-speed way to interface external parallel memory devices with the PIC32MZ MCU.

If you’re into developing secure implementations, you’ll love the Crypto hardware encryption/decryption and random number generator feature that 8 of the PIC32MZ MCUs are equipped with. The Crypto engine supports theĀ AES, 3DES, SHA, MD5 and HMAC encryption algorithms.

The range will consist of a family of 24 MCUs, of which 12 should become available in December 2013 for sampling and volume production, with the remaining 12 being released throughout next year until May 2014. Costs per unit starts at $6.68 per MCU if brought in quantities of 10000 or more.

MCU packages include:

  • 64-pin QFN (9×9 mm) and TQFP (9×9 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH064;
  • 100-pin TQFP (12×12 and 14×14 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH100;
  • 124-pin VTLA (9×9 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH124
  • 144-pin TQFP (16×16 mm) and LQFP (20×20 mm) for the PIC32MZ2048ECH144

The tables below lists each MCU, and their differences, between the PIC32MZ family MCUs, similarities are as follows.

Similarities between PIC32MZ family MCUs
RAM 512KB Output Compare 9
Speed 200MHz Timers 9
ADC Modules 1 RTCC 1
ADC Sample/Hold Circuits 6 UART 6
Analog Comparitors 2 HS USB 1
Input Capture 9 Eternet 10/10 1
PIC32MZ MCUs without encryption
Product Flash Pins DMA Chan ADC Chan SPI\I2S I2C CAN\2.0b PMP\EBI
2048ECG144 2 144 8/12 48 6 5 Y/Y
2048ECH144 2 144 8/16 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECG124 2 124 8/12 48 6 5 Y/Y
2048ECH124 2 124 8/16 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECG100 2 100 8/12 40 6 5 Y/Y
2048ECH100 2 100 8/16 40 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECG064 2 64 8/12 24 4 4 Y/N
2048ECH064 2 64 8/16 24 4 4 2 Y/N
1024ECG144 1 144 8/12 48 5 5 Y/Y
1024ECH144 1 144 8/16 48 5 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECG124 1 124 8/12 48 5 5 Y/Y
1024ECH124 1 124 8/16 48 5 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECG100 1 100 8/12 40 5 5 Y/Y
1024ECH100 1 100 8/16 40 5 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECG064 1 64 8/12 24 4 4 Y/N
1024ECH064 1 64 8/16 24 4 4 2 Y/N
PIC32MZ MCUs without encryption
Product Flash Pins DMA Chan ADC Chan SPI\I2S I2C CAN\2.0b PMP\EBI
2048ECM144 2 144 8/18 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECM124 2 124 8/18 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECM100 2 100 8/18 40 6 5 2 Y/Y
2048ECM064 2 64 8/18 24 4 4 2 Y/N
1024ECM144 1 144 8/18 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECM124 1 124 8/18 48 6 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECM100 1 100 8/18 40 6 5 2 Y/Y
1024ECM064 1 64 8/18 24 4 4 2 Y/N

Starter kits for prototyping and tinkering with the PIC32MZ range is also available ranging from around $119 and up.

I’m eager to try the MZ range, but for now I’m going to admire and learn to master the MX family, and one that becomes second nature, I’ll move up a bit. Thanks for reading, and do feel free to leave a comment on your thoughts about Microchips latest PIC32 MCUs.