Microchip adds CAN FD to PIC18 8bit microcontrollers

November 18, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Microchip adds CAN FD to PIC18 8bit microcontrollers
The PIC18 Q84 is the first integrated CAN FD 8bit microcontroller from Microchip for industrial automotive and connected car designs

Microchip Technology has launched its first PIC18 8bit microcontroller (MCU) family with a Controller Area Network Flexible Data-Rate (CAN FD) bus.

The PIC18 Q84 family of CAN FD controllers includes a range of Core Independent Peripherals (CIPs) that handle a variety of tasks without requiring CPU intervention. The integration cuts both the time and cost when connecting systems to a CAN FD network by avoiding the need for a gateway.

The chip is aimed at applications from automotive to industrial automation, transporting sensor data to a CAN FD bus without the need for gateways or sophisticated network switching techniques.

Available with up to 13 KB of Flash memory and in packages with up to 48 pins, the devices add new peripherals like the Universal Timer (UTMR) with customization capability and the addition of context switching to the 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter with Computation for automating analog signal analysis for real-time system response. They also include industry-standard options like JTAG boundary scan and 32bit Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) with memory scan on boot for added system safety. The configurable peripherals can be used to create custom hardware-based functions for automotive and industrial designs with near-zero latency without additional code. 

“CAN FD will continue to play a critical role in delivering faster data transfer rates for applications, ranging from the connected car to industrial automation and smart homes,” said Greg Robinson, associate vice president of marketing for Microchip’s 8-bit microcontroller business unit. “Microchip is furthering the adoption of this protocol with our latest 8-bit PIC® MCU family, helping designers create cost-effective network nodes at scale.”

The PIC18 Q84 family offers both hardware and software support. Hardware includes a Curiosity Nano Development Board and a Curiosity High Pin Count (HPC) Development Board. A plug-in module (PIM) is also available for the Automotive Networking Development Board and for use with Microchip development boards. Software includes Microchip’s MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC).

Microchip also provides a family of discrete CAN FD transceivers and


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