8-bit low-pin-count (LPC) microcontrollers have taken advantage of process shrinks to increase their functionality and thus serve more applications than ever before at lower cost. While even LPC devices were becoming pad-limited by the 0.35µm technology node, advances in architecture, motor control, smart energy management, Ethernet and wireless connectivity requirements for home automation and control, have led to a new range of applications for 8-bit MCUs.

Today, the 8-bit field is led by MCUs made with advanced process technology that enables integration of a few precision analog peripherals, configurable general-purpose I/O (GPIO) pins, serial interfaces and a fast-data-bus architecture. With this functionality, the devices offer good-precision analog signal capture, conversion and conditioning; modest signal-processing capability; and a reasonable amount of integrated memory—all within the minimum pad ring.