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The Best USB Microcontroller

LPC1340In CISIUM, always we want the option that better feet with our customer requirements. In this occasion we have to identify the best USB microcontroller for a small electronic embedded system. Even though we are specialized in ARM processor, always we are checking other alternatives, in order to give the best electrical and electronic services. The comparison has been done between the cheapest USB ARM processor; it is done by NXP implemented in the LPC13 family versus the manufacturer who has the biggest sales of 8 bit microcontroller in the market, Microchip, a good friend of CISIUM.

In the next table we can identify the technical specification of the smallest microcontroller with USB from NXP (ARM core) and Microchip (8 bits):

 

Package

MHz

Core

FLASH (kB)

RAM (B)

I/O pins

USB

UART

I2C

SPI

ADC

Timers

LPC1311FNH33

33 QFN

72

32 bits

8

4k

28

1

1

1

1

8

4

LPC1342FHN33

33 QFN

72

32 bits

16

8k

28

1

1

1

1

8

4

PIC18F13K50-I/MQ

20 QFN

48

8 bits

8

512

15

1

1

1

9

4

PIC18F14K50-I/MQ

20 QFN

48

8 bits

16

768

15

1

1

1

9

4

We can see that the NXP microcontrollers are faster (72MHz vs. 48MHz), more powerful (32 bits core vs. 8 bits), the same FLASH (really the better NXP since it has code compression), pretty much more RAM (8k/4k vs. a tinny 512/768) and more available pins (28pins vs. 15pis). The rest of parameters are similar and less significant for the comparison. Overall it is like compare a Ford with a Ferrari.

After this technical compassion we were expecting that the NXP microcontrollers are pretty much more expensive. In the next table we have a comparison of the prices from the mayor electronic providers and manufacturers:

 

Newark

element14

Future Electronics

Mouser

Avnet

Digi-Key

Microchip Direct

LPC1311FNH33

$2.08 (1+)

$2.08 (1+)

$1.98 (1+)

$2.48 (1+)

$1.11 (1+)

$2.48 (1+)

N/A

 

$1.42 (100+)

$1.42 (100+)

$1.70 (100+)

$1.80 (100+)

$1.07 (100+)

$1.80 (100+)

N/A

 

$1.08 (1000+)

N/A

N/A

$1.16 (1000+)

N/A

$1.16 (1000+)

N/A

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.04 (5000+)

N/A

$1.04 (5000+)

N/A

LPC1342FHN33

$3.62 (1+)

$3.62 (1+)

$2.99 (1+)

$4.17 (1+)

$2.07 (1+)

$4.17 (1+)

N/A

 

$2.43 (100+)

$2.43 (100+)

$2.56 (100+)

$3.05 (100+)

$1.99 (100+)

$3.05 (100+)

N/A

 

$2.02 (1000+)

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.91 (1000+)

$2.08 (1000+)

N/A

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.89 (5000+)

N/A

PIC18F13K50-I/MQ

N/A

N/A

N/A

$2.23 (1+)

$2.25 (1+)

$2.58 (1+)

$1.86 (1+)

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.77 (100+)

$2.19 (100+)

N/A

$1.68 (100+)

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.68 (1000+)

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.60 (5000+)

PIC18F14K50-I/MQ

$2.04 (1+)

$2.04 (1+)

N/A

$2.44 (1+)

$2.47 (1+)

$2.82 (1+)

$2.04 (1+)

 

$1.84 (100+)

$1.84 (100+)

N/A

$1.94 (100+)

$2.30 (100+)

N/A

$1.84 (100+)

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.69 (1000+)

 

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

$1.61 (5000+)

Data from 29/Dec./2010

And what is our surprise. If we compare the LPC1311FNH33 ($1.04 (5000+)) vs. PIC18F13K50-I/MQ ($1.60 (5000+)) we conclude that NXP is $0.56 cheaper than Microchip. If we compare the LPC1342FHN33 ($1.89 (5000+)) vs. the PIC18F14K50-I/MQ ($1.61 (5000+)) we conclude that NXP is $0.28 more expensive than Microchip, but with NXP we have more than 7 kB or RAM extra.

The conclusion is very evident; the LPC13 family form NXP is not only one of the most powerful USB processor in the market, also the cheapest.  The utilization of the LPC13 not only ensure your product is very competitive from the cost point of view, also allows an unprecedented performance and resources, giving the chance to use real time operation systems and advanced middleware like file systems and complex communication stack.

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