Can a pic microcontroller be active all the time, everyday, without getting damaged?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why wouldn't it? \$\endgroup\$
    – user16324
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Think about it, what if the manufacturer says that you can not have a component active all day (under normal conditions), would you buy it or look for a component that can? Realize that in many products containing electronics, some part of the electronics is active continuously. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


Most electronic systems can be operated continuously if within their design ratings.

The most common cause of concern is heat.

Unlike say a high computational power desktop/laptop/server/mobile processor, a typical microcontroller doesn't consume more power than it can effectively radiate heat without needing additional cooling design.

Provided that the chip is not misoperated or damaged, and it is not being heated by the environment or other power-hungry components, a typical MCU would be cool or at most warm to the touch. If the system is rising in temperature, or if it is consuming more powered than specific, then that is a situation which would need concern.

One common reason why an MCU would not be operated 24/7 is if it is in a battery powered design. But for a mains powered design, a basic MCU may consume little more power than the quiescent current of the mains power supply itself. It's things like higher performance computers where shutting or slowing them down to reduce mains power consumption makes sense. A basic flash based MCU with a clock in the double digit MHz can probably keep running as the power used is just not that much, a high end MCU or low end SoC getting into the hundred of MHz and power management makes sense as consumption may approach a watt; by the time you get to say a Raspberry Pi leaving it on all the time without an actual need gets a bit debatable from an energy perspective (though from a thermal perspective is achievable with at most a small fan).


Yes, absolutely.

Only FLASH/EEPROM has write cycle resource usually. So care must be take if you write to these areas during operation with a some sort of wear leveling and managing.

Other thing should last as long as they can if they are operating under normal conditions.


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