HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog
MCUs Simplify Resolver-Based Motor Control Systems
10/25/2012

Return to Article

View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Some Older MCUs Still Alive
Jon Titus   10/29/2012 5:11:59 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, semiconductors do go away.  A company called Reticon--acquired years ago by EG&G--made a programmable filter I liked very much.  No replacement.  Likewise, Intersil manufactured a dual-slope (integrating) amalog-to-digital converter.  That went away, too, although Maxim made the chip, too, but I haven't checked recently.  There are some secondary-market companies that have stocks of older ICs for companies that need replacements.

There's a balance between choosing recent semiconductors that have some history and longevity vs. picking the latest-and-greatest devices that might be a "flash in the pan." Engineers and product designers should always ask a supplier about the longevity of a device or product line.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Some Older MCUs Still Alive
William K.   10/29/2012 4:50:12 PM
NO RATINGS
Jon,

Yes, it is true that the 8051 is still around, and in quite a few variants, as well. But try to find an 8047. And of course the *86 is still around. But neither of those would be considered a "small" processor, I don't think. Also, it looks a bit like many of the newer crop of small devices are constantly changing, hoping to find a configuration that is what everybody wants. The less popular versions don't lkast as long. Sort of like the flat-pack CMOS ICs of a few years back.

Of course there are also those devices that go away because of yield problems, although that may be less common than a few years back. Presently it seems that Analog Devices has stopped producing one of the audio compressor devices, and a few other audio chips, for some reason. So products do go away.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Some Older MCUs Still Alive
Jon Titus   10/29/2012 11:55:58 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi, William.  Yes, watch you don't get cut on the "bleeding edge" of new technologies.  That said, the venerable 8051 continues to live as does the Z80 family.  I believe Zilog still has variants of the Z80 family and Rabbit Semiconductor (now part of Digi International) has modules based on the Z80 architecture.  Of course the x86 architecture continues to roll on, too.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
MCU simplifies resolver based system
William K.   10/28/2012 7:52:02 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Re: eval board
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 9:39:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Yes, the photo looks like an M.C. Escher drawing that skews perspective.

andyt
User Rank
Iron
Re: eval board
andyt   10/26/2012 8:32:33 PM
NO RATINGS
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
User Rank
Blogger
Re: eval board
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 3:24:52 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

tekochip
User Rank
Platinum
It's Alive!
tekochip   10/26/2012 3:05:38 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

andyt
User Rank
Iron
eval board
andyt   10/26/2012 2:40:45 PM
NO RATINGS
That memory connector on that board looks scary and seems to say there's not enough memory on-chip to do much with it

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
8-Bit MCUs Alive and Thriving
Jon Titus   10/26/2012 12:13:41 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
Fifteen European research centers have launched EuroCPS to help European companies develop innovative products for the Internet of Things.
In 2003, the world contained just over 500 million Internet-connected devices. By 2010, this figure had risen to 12.5 billion connected objects, almost six devices per individual with access to the Internet. Now, as we move into 2015, the number of connected 'things' is expected to reach 25 billion, ultimately edging toward 50 billion by the end of the decade.
NASA engineer Brian Trease studied abroad in Japan as a high school student and used to fold fast-food wrappers into cranes using origami techniques he learned in library books. Inspired by this, he began to imagine that origami could be applied to building spacecraft components, particularly solar panels that could one day send solar power from space to be used on earth.
Biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing engineering fields; from medical devices and pharmaceuticals to more cutting-edge areas like tissue, genetic, and neural engineering, US biomedical engineers (BMEs) boast salaries nearly double the annual mean wage and have faster than average job growth.
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service