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ATMEGA168PA-MU: A Low-Power CMOS Microcontroller

ATMEGA168PA-MU is a low-power microcontroller, powered by the CMOS technology. Manufactured by Microchip Technology, it enables the execution of instructions in a single clock style.

In this blog post, you are going to find out how it works, as well as some of the technical properties.

What is ATMEGA168PA-MU?

It is a Microcontroller (MCU) manufactured by Microchip Technology. At the core of the functionalities is the basis on the AVR-enhanced RISC architecture.

If you are looking to get a Microcontroller (MCU) that powers a variety of applications, this is one of the right ones to get.

Read on to find out more about how it works:

Power Optimization Capabilities


Optimizing or finding a balance between power and the performance of the circuit board is at the core of the ATMEGA168PA-MU’s operations.

Finding the power optimization balance is offered via ATMEGA168PA-MU’s Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS) per Megahertz (MHz). The power consumption is further reduced in the process through the device’s achievement of CPU through this process.

This power consumption balance process is one of the reasons why ATMEGA168PA-MU is flexible for the circuit board designer to optimize the Microcontroller (MCU) for power and speed.

Data Retention Capabilities

The default function of Microcontrollers (MCUs) is to facilitate the repetitive execution of a predefined series of tasks. To that end, digital circuit designers leverage ATMEGA168PA-MU’s data retention capabilities to enhance the information or data processed through it.

ATMEGA168PA-MU’s data retention capability is pegged at 20 years and operating at 85-degree Celsius. It also retains the data at 25-degree Celsius per 100 years.

Non-Volatile Memory Capabilities

The data retention is one aspect of the ATMEGA168PA-MU’s memory or data capabilities. The other is the non-volatile memory capabilities segments, with higher endurance rates.

The capabilities in this case include:

  • 512/1K/1K/2Kbytes of Internal SRAM
  • 4/8/32Kbytes of In-System Self-Programmable Flash Program Memory.
  • Write Erase Cycles of 10,000 Flash and 100,000 of EEPROM
  • 256/512/512/1Kbytes of EEPROM.

ATMEGA168PA-MU also has an Optional Boot Code Section with a set of Independent Lock Bits.

This Optional Boot Code has a wide range of components, including true read-while-write operation and in-system programming by on-chip boot program.

ATMEGA168PA-MU has QTouch Library Support

ATMEGA168PA-MU supports a wide range of library facilities. These facilities help bolster the configuration of the target devices.

On the list of supported components or peripherals are:

  • Support for up to 64 sense channels.
  • Sliders, capacitive touch buttons and wheels.
  • QTouch and QMatrix acquisitions.

ATMEGA168PA-MU Uses an Advanced Microcontroller Architecture

The architecture used by a Microcontroller (MCU) plays an important role in how it turns out, in terms of the effectiveness. In ATMEGA168PA-MU’s case, it is powered by the robust and advanced AVR RISC architecture.

This architecture is all-around solid, in the sense that it helps the digital circuit designer to maximize the configuration peripherals to make the most out of the microcontroller.

The following are some of the peripherals or cosmetics of the ATMEGA168PA-MU AVR RISC architecture:

1. Power Balance

The power consumption and balance capabilities of ATMEGA168PA-MU is bolstered via the Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS) per Megahertz (MHz) process. This does not only reduce the power consumption capabilities of the microcontroller, but also ensures that the processing speed is balanced in the process.

Therefore, you are leveraging both the power consumption capabilities and the processing speed to get the most out of both worlds.

With the MIPS capabilities, you can be sure that the ATMEGA168PA-MU can attain up to 20 MIPS throughput at 20 Megahertz (MHz).

2. Stack Pointer for Data Retention

Retaining data in the ATMEGA168PA-MU is not limited to the MIPS. It can also be retained with the Status Pointer. The Stack is mainly used to store temporary data, that is, data that isn’t needed at the time.

The Stack Pointer is also used to store the local variables and for storing the return addresses, especially after the subroutine calls and the interrupts.

However, the Stack Pointer Register is mainly implemented when the memory begins to expand. The implementation helps to cater for the growing numbers of memories in the target device.

3. Excellent Power Management


Managing power is also an important criterion when choosing a Microcontroller (MCU) and that is what ATMEGA168PA-MU offers.

The power management solution offered here includes the sleep modes. The sleep modes are integrated to help the application shut down or turn off, especially by turning off the unused modules in the ATMEGA168PA-MU Microcontroller (MCU).

By shutting down the unused modules, ATMEGA168PA-MU is now able to conserve more power.

4. Brown-out Detector (BOD)

Saving power, current or energy in ATMEGA168PA-MU is not limited to the primary sleep modes. It can also be managed with the Brown-out Detector (BOD).

The detector works by monitoring the power supply of ATMEGA168PA-MU, especially when it has been put to sleep. The monitoring focuses on the sleep modes and how they adapt in those modes.

The Brown-out Detector (BOD) furthers disables when put in operation in some sleep modes. The disabling helps to save more power for ATMEGA168PA-MU.

5. Tailored Sleep Modes

ATMEGA168PA-MU’s AVR-enhanced RISC architecture doesn’t only provide the architecture for the Microcontroller (MCU)’s operations. It also provides customizable sleep modes.

For example, the AVR allows for the customization or re-optimization of the sleep modes, as per the application or target device’s requirements. That way, the consumer electronics can be fine-tuned and put in the right sleep mode.

6. Idle Mode

Putting the ATMEGA168PA-MU Microcontroller (MCU) in a sleep mode might impact how much it operates. For instance, most of the components or functions wouldn’t be active after the mode has been enabled.

Therefore, using the Idle Mode proves to be a better option. In this case, it allows the ATMEGA168PA-MU MCU to operate in some ways, rather than having a complete shutdown.

For example, while in the Idle Mode, ATMEGA168PA-MU may be able to keep the interrupt system, the 2-wire Serial Interface and the Watchdog active. It can also turn off the CPU, but allow the following to be active:

  • USART Transmit Complete interrupts.
  • Analog Comparator
  • Timer Overflow
  • SPI
  • Timer/Counters
  • ADC

Final Words

ATMEGA168PA-MU is a unique Microcontroller (MCU) that enables the real-time configuration of digital logic devices, while providing a balance between low-power consumption and data retention.




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