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The PicoPIC16 is an extremely small and high performance, technology and vendor independent 8-bit microcontroller supplied as a synthesisable IP core. It is software compatible with the industry standard PIC16xxxx family of 8-bit PIC ® microcontrollers.It is supplied as high quality synthesisable VHDL source code, with full self-checking testbench, example implementation and synthesis scripts, makefiles, documentation, maintenance and support.



PicoPIC16 is a standard minimal configuration of our FlexPIC16 configurable microcontroller. It offers the smallest implementation of a PIC code-compatible microcontroller core with the following features:

  • Very small area (125 slices / 2000 gates*)
  • Single phase clock input (>50MHz*)  
  • All core instructions implemented
  • 4x faster than the standard PIC® architecture
  • All instructions except branches execute in a single clock cycle (>50MIPs*)
  • All branches execute in two clock cycles
  • Single level-sensitive interrupt input
  • Fixed 3 clock cycles interrupt latency
  • RISC-like, Harvard architecture  
  • 14-bit instruction, 8-bit data widths
  • 8 level hardware stack (max. unlimited)**
  • 64 bytes register-file (512 bytes address space)**
  • 1K words program memory (max. 64K words)**


* Quoted area excludes all memories. Slice count refers to area when implemented in a Xilinx Spartan 3AN FPGA. Gate count is for 2-input NAND equivalent gates in ASIC standard cell.
** typical sizes quoted, user configurable size to suit application



  • Technology and vendor independent
  • Suitable for FPGA (Xilinx, Altera, Lattice, Actel etc), ASIC or custom IC implementation.
  • High quality parameterised and well commented VHDL RTL source code 
  • Wide availability of PIC® code library routines from multiple sources
  • Wide availability of development tools from multiple vendors, including software simulators, assemblers, C-compilers, emulators etc.


PicoPIC is available to license at cost-effective rates on a royalty-free basis, either for single designs, multiple designs, or on a perpetual basis. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.


PIC is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. 


Typical applications include industrial sensors, user interfaces, peripheral controllers, communications and anywhere that small size combined with high performance 8-bit processing is required. The small size in particular facilitates the use of multiple processors in parallel processing arrays, for example for multiple sensor inputs.

Owing to the extremely small size, the fast clock speed and regular 1 clock cycle per instruction (2 for branches), the PicoPIC is also well suited for hardwired logic-based state-machine replacement. The regular instruction cycle timing makes it very easy to control and to know exactly how long code takes to execute, whilst the soft programmability of a processor-based approach makes it easy to alter the functionality late in the design process, or even out in the field. 



The PicoPIC16 can be readily implemented on any FPGA, ASIC or custom silicon device as required by the user. Representative area and performance figures for various target technologies are shown in the table below.


Area excl. memories (note 1)

Area incl. memories (notes 1,2)

Speed (MIPs)

ASIC standard cell




Actel Fusion




Xilinx Spartan 3AN





1. Areas are quoted in native units. For ASIC technologies this is 2-input NAND equivalent gatecount. For Xilinx area is quoted in slices and for Actel in tiles.

2. Area including stack and data memories implemented as random logic (eg. slice RAM in Xilinx Spartan) instead of using dedicated memory cells, but excluding program memory.

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20090902 Rev.2

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