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PICList Thread
'Supply current for PIC16F876'
2000\05\13@010601 by Brent Brown

picon face

Can someone please help me with typical active supply current
values for a PIC16F876. My design is for a low power intelligent
sensor that will connect to a RS485 network. I'm trying to decide
between the PIC16F876 and the Atmel AVR AT90S4433. These
chips appear to be pretty similar in their hardware features, both
offering evrything needed for the job. To make my decision I need
to consider everything, ie. cost of development tools, chip cost,
etc, but power consumption comes into it too.

The Atmel data sheet shows me some decent graphs, and from
these I find an active supply current of about 9mA @ 4MHz, 5V.

On the other hand the Microchip data sheet DS30292B is next to
useless ("preliminary" stamped accross everything and "graphs
and tables not available at this time" - why is that?). They do
however quote typical values like less than < 2mA @ 4MHz, 5V.

I don't want to step into a huge PIC vs AVR war here, but it would
appear that one advantage of the PIC, assuming 4MHz 5V
operation, is a signicantly lower current consumption. Is this a fair
comparison? Or does the AVR perhaps have more horsepower so
it can be run at a lower speed thereby reducing consumption?

Please don't make this go off topic by arguing too much about PIC
vs AVR, but some actual Icc figures would be helpful and very
relevant to all on the list.

Thanks in advance, Brent.

Brent Brown
Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street
Hamilton, New Zealand
Ph/fax: +64 7 849 0069
Mobile: 025 334 069

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