Epson's low-power, 16-bit microcontroller, the S1C17M33, comes with on-chip Flash memory and targets liquid crystal displays on remote control panels for home appliances like air conditioners.

The MCUs, which offers selectable operating voltages ranging from 1.8V to 5.5V, enable advanced functions and larger, high-resolution LCD screens, while also helping to extend battery life in battery-driven applications like multi-function digital watches, hand-held card reader tokens and home appliance remote controllers.

The S1C17M33 features expanded universal port multiplexer (UPMUX) functions, which allow users to assign input/output (I/O) functions as needed with software. Users can also reconfigure LCD ports to general-purpose input/outputs (GPIO). The MCU can be used for basic applications such as the driving of LCDs with up to 368 dots, but users can also reconfigure the I/Os to give the MCU up to 65 GPIOs.

Epson said the flexible configuration allows users to embed the MCU in products with different specifications, which helps users to increase their product development efficiency. The new MCU also offers far more flexibility in board layout.

The MCU is a single-chip solution that integrates an infrared remote control output signal generator, three types of serial interface, 96Kb of self-programmable Flash memory and 4Kb of RAM, according to Epson. In addition, a part of the Flash area or a dedicated area can be used as EEPROM by providing specified libraries.

Epson is offering the S1C17M33 in an 80-pin thin quad flat pack (TQFP14-80 package) or as a bare die that will save board space. The other MCUs in this series (the S1C17M30, S1C17M31, S1C17M32, and S1C17M34) have smaller display drivers and less Flash memory than the S1C17M33.

Epson has begun shipping the S1C17M33 in production volumes. The company has also begun volume production of other MCU in the series, including the S1C17M30, S1C17M31, S1C17M32, and S1C17M34. Epson plans to produce 200,000 units of each model per month.