It would be a major failing of the US education system to ignore the ARM Cortex M series. Basically the parts are destined to replace the entire 8 and 16 bit world IMHO. Of course universities are generally well behind the curve when it comes to to the real world.
Freescale now has out the low end of the Cortex M0 family with 8 and 16 pin parts for around $.50 in low volumes. This represents a part with higher performance, lower cost and power consumption than just about any 8 or 16 bit competitor. Finally after years of talking about it, an ARM processor really has the potential to replace the 8 and 16 bit world entirely.
In addition to that, it is built on a more modern process so it should not have the problems associated with process obsolescence like much of the existing 8 and 16 bit world. Obviously the various adherents to other silicon will still have their favorites but I don't intend to waste any more time with them. I mean you can still get 8051's for goodness sake but why would you want to?
Most of the historic Microcontroller folks have Cortex M solutions of some sort. In the US Freescale, Ti and Atmel have M4 solutions. I believe all three of them are working on M0 varients.
The Euorpeans have also been supporting ARM Cortex MX very well.
This is really great since it also fosters interest in the higher performance ARM families.
It would also be nice if the Arduino world would embraced the ARM Cortex M0 more but I imagine it will eventually or will totally lose relevance. It's really a shame they picked an 8 bit controller to begin with.
Rob, I have a development board for that chip. It is a very good part. One thing that is so impressive about the ARM Cortex-M series is the "layered" instruction set. By that I mean you can get parts with the basic instruction set, or higher level parts with added instructions for various purposes. The M4 is the highest level of the ARM Cortex series and has some great instructions including a FFT instruction done in hardware.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
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?
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