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New Digital Signal Controller (DSC) Accelerates DSP performance for time-critical control applications


Microchip announces a new family of dsPIC33CK 16-bit Digital Signal Controllers (DSC) which provides system designers with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) power combined with the design simplicity of a microcontroller (MCU). Designed to deliver faster deterministic performance in time-critical control applications, the dsPIC33CK have expanded context selected registers to reduce interrupt latency and new, faster instruction execution to accelerate Digital Signal Processor (DSP) routines. The dsPIC33CK single-core family complements the recently announced dsPIC33CH dual-core family based on the same core.

With 100 MIPS performance, the core of the dsPIC33CK delivers almost double the performance of previous single-core dsPIC® DSCs, making it ideally suited for motor control, digital power and other applications requiring sophisticated algorithms such as automotive sensors and industrial automation. It has been designed specifically for controlling multiple sensorless, brushless motors running field-oriented control algorithms and power factor correction.

The new DSCs are also designed to ease functional safety certification required by many automotive, medical and appliance applications where safe operation and shutdown in failure situations are critical. The devices include integrated functional safety features for safety-critical designs such as: RAM Built-In Self-Test (BIST) for checking RAM health and functionality; Deadman Timer for monitoring the health of application software through periodic timer interrupts within a specified timing window; Dual Watchdog Timers (WDT); Flash Error Correction Code (ECC); Brown Out Reset (BOR); Power On Reset (POR); and Fail Safe Clock Monitor (FSCM).


The dsPIC33CK family features a CAN-FD communication bus to support new automotive communication standards.

It comes with a high level of analogue integration including high-speed ADCs (3.5 Msps), analogue comparators with DACs, and operational amplifiers, enabling motor-control applications with smaller footprints and lower bill of material costs. The DSCs include a 250 ps resolution PWM which is ideal for advanced digital power topologies. Live Update of firmware (with up to 2x128 KB blocks) is also offered to support high-availability systems, especially important for digital power supplies.

The dsPIC33CK is supported by Microchip’s MPLAB® development ecosystem including Microchip’s free, downloadable and award-winning MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE), MPLAB Code Configurator, XC16 C Compiler tool chain and MPLAB in-circuit debugger/programmer tools.

The dsPIC33CK Curiosity Board (DM330030), priced $39.99 each, is a cost-effective and flexible platform enabling customers to rapidly create a feature-rich prototype, available in November.

Motor-control PIMs, priced at $25.00 each, are available with internal (MA330041-2) and external (MA330041-1) op amps for use with Microchip’s MCLV-2 and MCHV-2/3 systems. The dsPIC33CK PIM for general-purpose platforms (MA330042), is priced at $25.00 each and is available for the Explorer 16/32 development board (DM240001-2). The Digital Power Starter Kit (DPSK-3, DM330017-3) is being updated to feature the dsPIC33CK256MP508 is priced at $129.99 each and will be available in October.

The dsPIC33CK is available in eight package variants which include packages from 28 to 80 pins and as small as 5 x 5 mm. Memory sizes range from 32 to 256 KB of Flash.

To learn more about the dsPIC33CK DSC family, visit