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MCUs Simplify Resolver-Based Motor Control Systems
10/25/2012

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naperlou
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More bits
naperlou   10/25/2012 10:35:54 AM
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Jon, in the past this would be handled by an 8-bit MCU and some other circuitry.  The latest crop of 32-bit controllers with built in functionality make the 8-bit controllers obsolete.

Jon Titus
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Re: More bits
Jon Titus   10/25/2012 11:00:08 AM
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Hi, naperlou.  Right you are.  And the 32-bit devices have more types of communication peripherals, too--CAN, Ethernet, USB, SPI. I2C, etc., so chip creators have moved even more hardware onto silicon. That effort makes life easier for engineers and programmers.

Island_Al
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Re: More bits
Island_Al   10/26/2012 9:48:14 AM
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The death of the little 8 bitters was announced several years ago, yet they still appear to be quite live with ever expanding capability.  Guess they never saw their obit, much like Mark Twains quote on the exaggeration of the rumors of his death!  As far as making life easier for engineers and programmers however I will disagree.  The reason is with every expansion of technology comes ever more complex solutions, and with it, ever more headaches to the designer.  Think autonomous cars for example, then the redundancy that must be built into them.  Engineering was never easy and will not be easy in the future.  In the 60s we used two transistors to make one flip flop, thus 36 bit registers took a lot of parts.  Sixty-four k "core" stacks were huge and expensive, but today I whine about having "only" 16GB in my machine.

Will 32 bit machines be replaced by 64 bit?  How about 128 bit guys with far more and faster registers?  What are the practical limits to bus width?  ASCII is still 8 bits wide.

I have been reading a lot on load sharing processor arrays lately.  Sort of like multitasking in hardware.  I'm not quite ready to send my 8 bit stuff to the Smithsonian quite yet.  We always live in an age of discovery and I'm very happy to be alive today.

 

Jon Titus
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8-Bit MCUs Alive and Thriving
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 12:13:41 PM
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Hi, Island_Al.  Yes, plenty of life left in 8-bit MCUs for a wide variety of uses.  A few days ago I sketched out a neat circuit for model-railroad enthusiasts that would use an 8-bit PIC in an 8-pin package--and an assembly-language program.

andyt
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Iron
eval board
andyt   10/26/2012 2:40:45 PM
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That memory connector on that board looks scary and seems to say there's not enough memory on-chip to do much with it

tekochip
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It's Alive!
tekochip   10/26/2012 3:05:38 PM
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I have to disagree, 8 bits are still very much alive, especially when combined with a good compiler and plenty of memory, which is now pretty cheap. I was looking into crunching some color graphics a while ago and did two designs; one with an arm and the other with a SiLabs 8051. The 8051 was faster and cheaper in this application. In most of the small appliances and sensors I work on, an 8 or small 16 bit machine is still my first choice. It's hard to justify a full 32 bit core when I only need 4k of code.

Jon Titus
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Re: eval board
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 3:24:52 PM
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Hi, AndyT.  The "memory" connector is actually the connector for a TI MCU "ControlCard," already in place.  The odd perspective of the image places the upper edge of the ControlCard along the same line as the far edge of the small motherboard.  Look again and you'll see a board plugged in.  The MCU has a lot of memory.  The connector lets engineers and programmers use different types of ControlCards.

andyt
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Iron
Re: eval board
andyt   10/26/2012 8:32:33 PM
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Ok, yeah. Now I see it Jon. It was an interesting illusion on the iPhone screen that lining up the top edges of the two boards created.

Jon Titus
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Re: eval board
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 9:39:02 PM
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Yes, the photo looks like an M.C. Escher drawing that skews perspective.

William K.
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MCU simplifies resolver based system
William K.   10/28/2012 7:52:02 PM
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Long after whatever MCU that you choose has gone out of production and is not available anywhere, thye same analog ICs will still be available from multiple makers and distributors stock. So if the anticipated product life is measured in days or months, then choose the MCU approach. But if it is a product with an expected lifetime of years, then make it out of sustainable parts. (A new expression?) Cutting edge stuff often causes bleeding.

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