Microchip's PIC16F84A microcontroller has left a significant impact on engineers as an accessible and powerful eight-bit microcontroller, serving as an entry point into microcontroller programming. The PIC16F88-I, similar in core architecture, offers the additional advantage of a 10-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC).

Key Features of the PIC16F88

The PIC16F88 features Microchip's PIC16 core, 4096-word flash memory, and 368 8-bit words of RAM. Additionally, it includes a 256-word EEPROM for storing control constants. For convenient prototyping and easy integration into designs, Microchip provides a DIP version of the microcontroller, while surface mount options are available for efficient PCB assembly.

PIC16F88-I microcontroller key features

Internal Oscillator

Unlike classic PIC microcontrollers that required an external oscillator, the PIC16F88 introduces an internal oscillator option. This internal oscillator simplifies the bill of materials (BOM) by eliminating the need for external frequency defining components. The datasheet provides accuracy values for the internal oscillator, allowing for cost-effective designs with lower clock accuracy requirements. However, the PIC16F88 still supports traditional external oscillators, such as crystals, for applications demanding higher accuracy.

PIC16F88-I internal oscillator

10-bit ADC for Sensor Data Acquisition

In metrology and control applications, processing analog values is a common task. The PIC16F88 incorporates a 10-bit ADC with a multiplexer (MUX) that can handle up to seven inputs. Skillful utilization of this peripheral device can reduce BOM costs by freeing up GPIO pins that would otherwise be occupied by an external ADC. The accuracy of the ADC facilitates precise sensor data acquisition.

10bit ADC for sensor data acquisition

Availability and Pricing

Microchip follows a policy of maintaining parts as long as there is customer demand, ensuring the availability of the PIC16F88. While the average price per unit is approximately 4.5 Euros when purchasing a quantity of 100, the part can be readily obtained from various distributors. For comparison, a more modern member of the PIC16 family, the PIC16F1509, featuring an advanced compute core, is available at around one euro per unit in a quantity of 100 (Price correct as of the date of publication).


Although newer and more cost-effective microcontrollers have emerged within the PIC16 family, the PIC16F88 remains a classic choice for both educational and production purposes. It offers valuable insights into the historical development of commonly used peripheral devices. Furthermore, the inclusion of a 10-bit ADC enhances its versatility, making it suitable for metrology and control applications. While considering the PIC16F88, one can also explore the debut of integrated serial engines and other peripheral advancements within the microcontroller's lineage.