Top 15 Popular PIC Microcontrollers in the Market

About PIC Microcontrollers

PIC microcontrollers, alternatively inferred as programmable interface controllers, came to the fore in 1993. Primarily designed and developed to support PDP computers in controlling their auxiliary devices, it currently has an expanded scope.

The PIC microcontrollers are based on Harvard architecture, which makes them popular. It stems from the ease in which it can get programmed, low cost, wide availability, and a simple interfacing capability with other auxiliary components. Additionally, it possesses a huge user base besides capacity for serial programming.

As an integrated chip, a PIC microcontroller consists of a ROM, RAM, timers, CPU, and counters that support protocols like CAN, UART, and SPI for interfacing purposes. It also has flash memory, I/O ports, EEPROM, UART, SSP, ADC, and PSP besides ICSP and LCD. Such components form a fundamental aspect of the PIC microcontroller architecture.

The architecture of the PIC microcontroller defines its functionality. Besides considering the four classifications of the PIC microcontroller that rely on the internal architecture, understanding the different PIC microcontrollers’ types becomes ideal before the design process. Classifications include baseline PIC, enhanced mid-range PIC, mid-range PIC, and PIC18.

Top and Popular PIC Microcontrollers

If you want a top PIC microcontroller, then it is crucial to consider the following popular and top-rate PIC microcontrollers in the market.

PIC16f877a / PIC16f877

The PIC16f877a/PIC16f877 has a simple programming process besides convenience when it comes to using. Because of this, it proves a popular microcontroller option within the industry. It comes either 8-bit or 16-bit and has a flash memory tech allowing for numerous write-erase processes. While ideal because the total amount of pins (40 in total and 33 for output and input) mainly applies in digital electronic circuits and PIC microcontroller projects. It is instrumental in home automation devices and systems, industrial instruments, remote sensors, and safety and security devices.

Key Attributes

A smaller set of 35 instructions

It can function up to a frequency of 20MHz

It has an operating voltage of between 4.2 to 5.5 volts. Anything higher than 5.5 volts can lead to permanent damage.

The PIC microcontroller lacks an internal oscillator compared to others like PIC18F4550 and PIC18F46K22.

A maximum current limit of 10 mA for every GPIO pin as source or sink can only accommodate approximately 100mA.

It comes in four integrated circuit packaging in 40-pin PDIP, 44-pin TQFP, 44-pin PLCC, and 44-pin QFN.


It comes as an 8-bit CMOS microcontroller developed on high-performance RISC architecture. The PIC12f675 is small in size and cost-effective, thus proves popular among engineers and hobbyists. The design is perfect for low-end systems and applications because of its 2Kbytes flash memory. It also contains 6 GPIO pins that can handle not more than 25mA of current, meeting the threshold of many sensors and peripheral devices.

Key Attributes

8-bit CPU

Eight pins where six pins are programmable

ICSP interface for communication

Possesses an 8-bit counter and a 16-bit counter

An external oscillator of up to 20MHz and an internal oscillator of 4MHz

EEPROM of 128bytes

Operating voltage of 2.0V-5.5V

16f84 PIC

It is a renowned and the most utilized PIC microcontroller type based on its pioneering stature. The PIC16f84 comes as an 8-bit mid-range microcontroller with a 1024 word program memory. It also has a RAM of 68bytes and a lasting EPROM storage of 64bytes. The striking factor about PIC 16f84 is that it can get reprogrammed using the in-circuit ICSP.

Key Attributes

A 1.75 KB program memory size

EEPROM of 64bytes

One 8-bit digital timer

Flash program memory

2-6 V operating voltage

18 pins in total

A temperature range of -40 to -85 °C


It is an 8-bit flash-based CMOS microcontroller that is simple to program. The PIC microcontroller packs the powerful PIC® MCU architecture within the 8-pin package. It has various features that make it popular, such as the one-channel comparator besides the 128byte EEPROM. It is ideal for application in industrial, automotive, and consumer electronics.

Key attributes

128-byte EEPROM

MPLAB® ICD-2 debugging or programming support with a free header adapter

Programmable pull-up resistors

Four oscillator selections that include 4MHz RC complete with programmable calibration and a power-on reset

Interrupt capability

8-level stack (dep hardware)

The indirect, relative, and direct addressing modes

An extended range of temperature

Power-saving sleep mode

Low-power POR

Power-up timer and OST (oscillator start-up timer)

Watchdog timer


It is a powerful and simple-to-program PIC microcontroller that is based on the CMOS flash-based 8-bit PIC microcontroller. Additionally, it packs the PIC® architecture within the 28-pin package. PIC16f886 possesses a 256byte EEPROM, is self-programming, and has two comparators, among other vital features. It makes it a popular choice for applications in sectors like industrial, automotive, consumer and appliances.

Key Attributes

An 8-32 MHz range frequency range

POR and power-saving modes

An extended WDT (watchdog timer) with an on-chip RC oscillator to guarantee reliable operation

ICSP through two pins

An improved flash program memory with a hundred thousand writes/erase cycles.

A data EEPROM retention capacity that exceeds forty years

An interrupt-on-pin change alternative

An 8-bit timer complete with an 8-bit pre-scaler TMRO

Supports LIN, RS-232, RS-485 compatibility

10-bit eleven channel A/D converter


The popular PIC microcontroller mainly gets deployed in embedded and automation systems. It comes as either TQFP, PDIP, or QFN. The PDIP has 40 pins, while the rest contains a 44-pin interface. It contains a 10-bit ADC, a 256byte EEPROM data memory, and a RAM of 1536 bytes.

Key Attributes

Two comparators

10-bit A/D converter complete with thirteen channels

Good memory endurance of 1000000 and 100000 for EEPROM and program memory, respectively

An enhanced EUSART feature useful in establishing serial communication with peripherals

10-bit ADC

Wide range of operating voltage of 2.0V-5.5V

POR (power-on reset)

Power-up timer (PWRT) and OST (oscillator start-up timer)

ICD through two pins


It comes as a popular 8-bit PIC microcontroller and comes with an improved NanoWatt technology and flash processor. The PIC microcontroller has three distinctive packages in SSOP, PDIP, and QFN. The SSOP has a 20 pin package, while the PDIP and QFN have 18 pin and 28 pin packages, respectively.

Key Attributes

7KB program memory size for storing instructions

10-bit ADC for conversion of A/D signals

Crystal oscillator not exceeding 20MHz for chip interfacing besides generation of clock pulses

18 total number of PDIP pins

2-5.5V of operating voltage

Flash program memory

256 bytes of EEPROM

2 I/O ports and 16 I/O pins

Two comparators

PIC16f676 / PIC16f876a

It is a powerful and simple-to-program CMOS and flash-based 8-bit PIC microcontroller. The PIC16f676 packs the powerful PIC® MCU architecture within the 14-pin package. It is a 10-bit A/D converter complete with eight channels, a single comparator, besides an EEPROM data memory. It has applications in industrial, automotive, consumer, and appliance entry-level products, especially those requiring field re-programmability.

Key Attributes

Data memory of 128-byte EEPROM

Independently selectable analog channels

Programmable pull-up resistors

ICD2 debugging or programming support with discretionary header adapter

Eight oscillator selections that include a precision 4MHz RC oscillator that comes programmable and a power-on reset


The 8-pin flash-based CMOS PIC microcontroller comes with a nanoWatt tech. It offers benefits associated with the mid-range x14 architecture, including standardized features. Such features make it a popular PIC microcontroller option for automotive and industrial applications.

Key Attributes

Extended WDT

256-byte EEPROM

MPLAB® ICD-2 programming or debugging support complete with a free header adapter

Interrupt capability

8-level stack (deep hardware)

Relative, indirect, and direct addressing modes

Power-saving sleep mode

Power-on reset


Programmable code protection

1µA at 2.0V Typical Watchdog timer current


The popular and powerful PIC microcontroller comes as an 8-bit CMPS FLASH-based microcontroller type. It contains 34 I/O pins and comes with one 16-bit and 8-bit timer, 10-bit A/D converter, SPI, I2C, and USART peripherals.

Key Attributes

8-bit CPU

34 total I/O pins

ADC module featuring one 8-channel and 10-bits

Zero comparators

One 8-bit and three 16-bit time module


It is a popular and relatively new PIC microcontroller type that cannot work on older device models. The PIC16f628 is based on the FLASH program memory of 3.5, 2 comparators, and a single CCP. What makes it an excellent option entails low voltage programming, programmable BOR, on-chip voltage reference, and other features.

Key Attributes

3.5KB program memory


Two comparators

Two max 8-bit digital timers

-40 to 85 degree Celsius temperature range

18 pins in total



The 8-bit PIC microcontroller from Microchip comes with a 20-pin interface. It incorporates the high-performance RISC CPU that assists in the execution of instructions. The microprocessor also has a crystal oscillator of 20MHz for interfacing purposes and the creation of clock pulses.

Key Attributes

A total of 20 pins

2-5.5V operating voltage

18 I/O pins

7K program memory

256 bytes of EEPROM

256 byte RAM

10-bit ADC of up to 12 channels

Max of 20 MHz oscillator


Two comparators


The popular PIC microcontroller comes with a FLASH memory of 32KB and proves compatible with PIC17 and PIC16 instruction sets. It uses advanced CAN technology and applies to the automotive and industrial sectors.

Key Attributes

High-performance RISC CPU possessing compatibility with a linear data and program memory of 1536 and 32 bytes, respectively

High current source/sink of 25mA/25mA

One 16-bit or 8-bit counter with a Prescaler

3-wire SPI with IoA bit

PoR and PWRT

1000000 standard write/erase cycles EEPROM

WDT complete with on-chip RC oscillator

33 I/O pins and 40-pin DIP


The PIC microcontroller comes optimized and equipped with the RISC architecture. It operates on flash memory and has a CPU speed of 10 DMIPS/MIPS, making it a toast for some people. Its maximum ADC is 10 bits with a CCP of 1.

Key Attributes


64KB program memory


Two comparators

One I2C

2-5.5V operating voltage

40 pins in total


A range in temperature of -40 to 125 degrees Celsius

PIC 12f508

The popular PIC microcontroller comes as a high-performance, low-cost, and 8-bit static microcontroller. It uses flash CMO technology with a total of 8 pins. It also possesses a DRT (device reset timer) that eliminates any requirement for external reset circuitry.

Key Attributes

Baseline 8-bit CPU

A total of 8 pins

6 I/O pins

One 8-bit time module

4 MHz internal oscillator

0.75KB program memory

25 bytes data EEPROM

Final Thoughts

It is always vital to understand everything about PIC microcontrollers, including the diverse types, program them, etc. Such information becomes useful in designing integrated circuits and electronics as a whole. Therefore, consider all insights about the intricacies of the diverse PIC microcontrollers to stay ahead of your design game.