Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microchip embedded IoT enables MCU cloud connectivity

Steve Rogerson
Match 18, 2020



Enabling cloud connectivity for all MCUs and MPUs, Arizona-based Microchip has launched a range of embedded IoT products for rapid prototyping that let developers quickly, easily and securely connect to any cloud using wifi, Bluetooth and narrow-band 5G technologies.
 
Due to the fragmented nature of the IoT marketplace, increasing project complexity and costs, developers face more problems in design decisions. These can lead to extended development times, increased security threats and failed products.
 
Continuing to execute upon its core strategy of delivering smart, connected and secure systems, Microchip Technology has announced its cloud agnostic, turnkey, full-stack embedded development products.
 
From the smallest Pic and AVR microcontrollers (MCUs) for sensors and actuator devices, to sophisticated 32bit MCU and microprocessor (MPU) gateways for edge computing, the company is now making it possible for developers to connect to any major core and any major cloud, using wifi, Bluetooth or narrow-band 5G technologies, all while maintaining a security foundation through the support of its Trust Platform for the Crypto Authentication family.  
 
Microchip's IoT portfolio now includes six more products. Making their core, connectivity, security, development environment and debug capabilities accessible, all are designed to lower project costs and complexity in development:

  • Pic-IoT WA and AVR-IoT WA boards: Two Pic and AVR MCU development boards with a companion custom built rapid prototyping tool developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), helping designers natively connect IoT sensor nodes to the AWS IoT Core service via wifi.
  • Gateways running AWS IoT Greengrass: Based on the latest wireless system on module (SoM), the ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM1 integrates the SAMA5D2 MPU, WILC3000 wifi and Bluetooth combo module powered by the MCP16502 power management IC.
  • Sam-IoT WG: Connects the Google Cloud IoT Core with Microchip's 32bit Sam-D21 Arm Cortex M0+ range of microcontrollers,
  • Azure IoT Sam MCU: This IoT development platform integrates the Azure IoT device SDK and Azure IoT services with Microchip's MPLab X development tools ecosystem,
  • Pic-BLE and AVR-BLE boards: Two PIC and AVR MCU boards for sensor node devices that connect to mobile devices for industrial, consumer and security applications and the cloud via gateways featuring Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • LTE-M and NB-IoT development kit: Features Monarch chip-based modules by Sequans enabling coverage of IoT nodes and leveraging low-power 5G cellular technology.
"Microchip is building on its already comprehensive portfolio of tools to enable quick, easy development of secure IoT applications across the full spectrum of embedded control devices and architectures," said Greg Robinson, associate vice president at Microchip. "Our latest partnerships with Sequans, utilising its 5G technology, and Microsoft Azure extend our dedication to developing innovations."
 
Each product is designed to focus on ease of use and rapid development for smart industrial, medical, consumer, agriculture and retail applications, with embedded security in mind. The selection of connectivity technologies, combined with the range of microcontroller and microprocessor performance and peripheral features, makes these scalable across a wide range of markets.
 
"We are pleased that Microchip is adding the Azure IoT Sam MCU based IoT development platform to its IoT portfolio," said Sam George, corporate vice president at Microsoft. "With Azure IoT services and Microchip's MPLab X development tools ecosystem, customers can seamlessly connect IoT devices to the Microsoft Azure cloud."
 
The IoT products build on the company's ecosystem of development tools, centred on the MPLab X integrated development environment. Code generators such as the MPLab X Code Configurator (MCC) automate and speed up the creation and customisation of the application code for the smallest Pic and AVR microcontrollers, while the Harmony software libraries support all 32bit microcontrollers and microprocessors.
 
On-board and in-circuit programming and debugging features are provided on the PKob Nano, requiring only a USB cable to power, debug and communicate. Larger products are supported by universal programmers and debuggers, the MPLab PICkit 4 and MPLab ICD 4. The ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM 1 comes with a set of free Linux distributions and, by mainlining Microchip's patches to the Linux kernel, users receive the support of the open source community.
 
Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip Technology serves more than 120,000 customers across the industrial, automotive, consumer, aerospace, defence, communications and computing markets.