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How to Make Real-Time Control Easy with the PIC18-Q10 Curiosity Nano

Create programmable logic that operates outside the speed limitations of software execution using the PIC18-Q10 with its CLC modules for a more configurable and elegant design.  

Real-time control is one of the most fundamental tasks performed by embedded systems. Typically, it’s implemented in software – an approach that throttles the CPU and consumes excessive power. Microchip’s PIC18-Q10 family eliminates these issues by implementing many timing- critical and core-intensive tasks in hardware. These microcontrollers (MCUs) help you reduce power consumption, eliminate the need for additional code and boost system performance through advanced peripheral functionality and interconnectivity.   

Using the PIC18-Q10 MCUs, you can design a fast, reliable real-time control system tailored to your application. These MCUs feature flexible peripherals, like configurable logic cells (CLCs) that enable you to design a simple function that can interface with the MCU. The CLC peripheral is a user-configurable peripheral for creating custom hardware-based logic functions. The peripheral lets you specify a combination of external and internal signals as inputs to a logic function and internally connects peripherals such as timers, Pulse-Width Modulators (PWMs), serial ports and I/O pins for easy hardware customization.  

The CLCs provide: 

Greater flexibility and simplified designs: The CLC can be used as a stand-alone peripheral in implementing sequential and/or combinational logic functions, thus facilitating quick event triggers and responses. It can also be used with other peripherals to help extend capabilities by facilitating custom implementation of complex functionalities in hardware. 

Improved system performance: Since the CLC is completely core independent, it effectively reduces the CPU bandwidth requirement for any application, as many simple logic and event responses can be offloaded from the CPU to the peripheral. 

Lower system cost: The CLC reduces the number of external components needed for your design, which reduces your PCB footprint and overall system cost. It supports a higher level of integration without any external components, thus reducing PCB size and system costs. It also reduces Flash and RAM requirements since software algorithms are not required.  

Faster response: Logic functions implemented in hardware have faster event response compared to logic functions implemented in software.  

To get more information on how to create customized logic functions, download the Getting Started with CLC on PIC18 Technical Brief. The document explains the concepts of the CLC and its implementation with the following common use cases: 

  • Using basic logic gates 
  • Using CLCs to create a data signal modulator 
  • Using CLCs to create an LED dimming effect 

The document provides easy-to-follow instructions and Github code examples for each use case. It also uses Microchip’s PIC18F47Q10 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit with full programming and debugging capabilities. The PIC18-Q10 MCUs are supported by our software tools including MPLAB® Code Configurator (MCC) — a free software plug-in that provides a graphical user interface (GUI) format to easily configure peripherals and functions. This enables you to easily drag and drop to connect the inputs and outputs in a GUI format and generate C code with the click of a button, greatly simplifying implementation of the CLC and other peripherals.   

And don’t forget to check out the code examples to help jumpstart your project using the Curiosity Nano board. Get your PIC18-Q10 Curiosity Nano Evaluation Kit today, and release your next design to market faster. 

For more information about our 8-bit products visit https://www.microchip.com/design-centers/8-bit.  

To learn more about the PIC18-Q10 product family visit https://www.microchip.com/design-centers/8-bit/pic-mcus/device-selection/pic18f-q10-product-family 

To purchase products mentioned here, visit our purchasing portal or contact a Microchip authorized distributor. 


Stephanie Pinteric, Dec 3, 2020