By adding more on-chip memory and functionality to Hitachi Semiconductor's H8/300 series 8-bit microcontroller, engineers produced a new series of devices that are said to be capable of replacing 16-bit MCUs in cost-sensitive applications, such as print-head motor controllers. The H8/3318 model has a 60-KByte ROM to store complex programs and a 4-KByte RAM--the largest on-chip RAM of any 8-bit MCU--to handle the larger storage requirements of such programs. The company claims that design engineers will find the new 8-bit H8/3318 capable of doing the job of a 16-bit MCU or even 32-bit MCU in many applications. Such cost-sensitive applications include fast, precise motor control systems for printers and plotters. Hitachi Semiconductor (America) Inc., Product Code 4176.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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