Microchip announces the 8-bit PIC18F87J72 microcontroller (MCU) family optimised for single-phase, multi-function smart-metering and energy-monitoring applications. Featuring a dual-channel, high-performance 16-/24-bit Analogue Front End (AFE), the new MCUs provide an accurate, reliable, easy-to-use and cost-effective solution for developing meters that exceed International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) class 0.5 performance. The MCUs integrate 64 or 128 KB Flash programme memory and 4 KB RAM, enabling time-of-use and multi-tariff functions, as well as a high level of peripheral integration, including a LCD driver, hardware Real-Time Clock/Calendar (RTCC) and a Charge-Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) for implementing a capacitive-touch user interface. Energy-calculation firmware, a development board and a reference design are available, providing a complete solution that lowers costs and shortens time to market for a variety of smart-metering and energy-monitoring applications. As an addition to Microchip's existing energy-metering and power-monitoring portfolio, the PIC18F87J72 MCU family addresses market demands for an integrated smart energy-metering and power-monitoring MCU. The family provides customers with the flexibility to use a PIC18F87J72 MCU, with integrated AFE, in space-constrained applications, or a separate Microchip MCP390x AFE with a standard PIC® MCU. The PIC18F87J72 Single-Phase Energy-Meter Reference Design (Part # ARD00280) is available from Microchip sales representatives for evaluation, today. Featuring a shunt-based single-phase meter with energy-calculation firmware and GUI-assisted software calibration, the reference design enables calculation of active/reactive energy, forward/reverse energy, active/reactive/apparent power and RMS current/voltage. To further shorten time to market, and support product differentiation, customers can reuse or customise the free firmware for their own applications. The firmware, PC software and Gerbers are available now for download at www.microchip.com/get/F0U4. The reference design is expected to be available for purchase at microchipDIRECT (www.microchipdirect.com) in December 2010. The PIC18F86J72 MCU with 64 KB Flash programme memory, and the PIC18F87J72 MCU featuring 128 KB Flash programme memory are both available in an 80-pin, 12 mm x 12 mm x 1 mm TQFP packages. For further information, visit www.microchip.com/get/F0U4.