Microchip’s PIC12F508 is an 8-bit middle-range microcontroller. PIC is an abbreviation for Peripheral Interface Microcontroller. The PIC12F508 is a low-cost, high-performance flash microcontroller that allows us to incorporate intelligence into our projects. It has a high-performance RISC CPU that only has 33 single-word instructions. Except for the branch instructions, which take two CPU cycles to execute, all instructions take one cycle to execute.

PIC microcontrollers are intended to be controlled by software to perform a variety of tasks. It has Flash memory technology, which allows us to reprogram the controller multiple times.

This tutorial provides an overview of the PIC12F508 microcontroller. All of the features, specifications, pin configuration, GPIO pin operation, and applications will be covered in this section.

PIC12F508 Introduction

The PIC12F508 is used in many electronic microcontroller projects. It has 8 pins in total, 6 of which are GPIO pins. Only one digital input pin can be used at a time. If you need more GPIO pins but still want to use the PIC12F508, you can use a GPIO expander IC such as the 74HC595 or MAX7219.

It includes a built-in 4MHz oscillator that can be set to operate in energy-saving mode. The use of an external oscillator with pins 2 (OSC1) and 3 (OSC3) is also possible, albeit at the expense of GPIO pins (OSC2). The GPIO pins on the PIC12F508 are already constrained. As a result, it is recommended that an internal 4MHz crystal be used instead of an external oscillator.

PIC12F508 Pinout

  1.  GPIO pins: It has a total of 8 GPIO pins, out of which 5 are bi-directional input-output pins and 1 input pin.
  2. In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP): PIC12F508 supports circuit programming. It can program the microcontroller in-circuit through serial communication.
  3. MCLR: It is an active-low master reset of the microcontroller. As it is active-low so consistent supply should be provided to this pin; otherwise, the controller resets itself.
  4. T0CKI: This pin acts as a clock to the Real-Time TMR0.
  5. OSC1/CLKIN: It represents oscillator input or external clock input. The respective can be used for either purpose.
  6. OSC2: It is the oscillator output pin.
  7. VDD: A power supply of 5 Volts is provided to operate the microcontroller.
  8. VSS: It provides a ground or zero reference level to the input pins.

PIC12F508 Features and Specifications

  • DataBus Width : 8bits
  • ProgramBus Width : 12 bits 
  • Pin Count : 8 (PDIP/SOIC/MSOP/DFN)
  • Processor Speed: 1 Million Instructions per Second
  • Program Memory: 512 words
  • StaticRAM: 25 bytes
  • Data EEPROM: 25 Bytes
  • Operational Temperature : -400C –  1250C

Some of the detailed features listed as follows:

  • High-performance CMOS microcontrollers with Flash Technology have a low power consumption of 2.2 – 5.5 volts, making them energy-efficient.
  • Because of a device reset timer and power-on reset, each I/O pin can sink/source current of 25mA. The operational frequency is up to 4MHz but can be altered for energy savings.
  • Durability is ensured by programmable code protection.
  • Watchdog timer is used to wake up the device from sleep mode and can be activated or deactivated via programming.
  • Programmable Electrically Erasable Memory Read-Only Memory of 258 bytes to permanently store some data
  • CPU with 0.75 KB of programme memory and an 8-bit RISC architecture.
  • The instruction set is 12-bit wide and contains 33 single-word instructions.
  • Except for programme branches, it completes instructions in a single cycle.

How to Program PIC12F508 Microcontroller

PIC microcontrollers can be programmed with different software and compilers.

Supported Compilers

The purpose of an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is to provide a programming environment. The programme is converted into readable HEX files by the compiler. The IPE (Integrated Programming Environment) is used to burn HEX files in PIC MCUs.

Assembly language programming for PIC microcontrollers is still supported. Some of the most widely used compilers include Microchip’s MPLAB XC8, MikroC for PIC, and Hi-Tech Compiler.

Programmer to Flash Code

We’ll need an IDE, an IPE, a compiler, and a programmer/debugger to programme the PIC12f508, all of which are available from MPLAB.

PICKit3 is an in-circuit programmer/debugger required for PIC programming. It supports In-Circuit-Serial-Programming (ICSP), which is computer-controlled and used to burn code into PIC using MPLAB. PICKit3 is a tool for programming PICs with only two pins (PGC and PGD). There is no need for power pins. Perfboard, a soldering station, a crystal oscillator, capacitors, and a PIC IC are also needed.

Alternate Options

  • PIC12F629
  • PIC12F683
  • PIC16F505
  • PIC12C508
  • PIC16F676
  • PIC16F72
  • PIC16F873A
  • PIC16F876A
  • PIC16F886
  • PIC16F252

PIC12F508 Applications

  • Sensor Systems
  • Safety devices
  • Automation systems 
  • Cost-effective embedded systems

PIC12F508 2D Diagram

The PIC12F508 microcontroller comes in four different packages: PDIP, SOIC, MSOP, and DFN. The figure below depicts the PIC12F508 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers 2D model (PDIP). It shows the actual sizes of the components required when designing a PCB card.


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