Introduction to microcontrollers

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Dear Zeus_threat,

I just know: Nxp (late Freescale), Microchip, Silicon Lab µC.

I like know the mind of choice concerning ic
In your introduction I think see Microchip µC, is it old fashioned for you? Why/why not?
Do you consider some software or hate some sofware?

For me and my work it's the cost of ic. After for my manager: just do it! In the individual I keep the same method.

Best ragards.
Hi thanks for the reply and reading my post.

I might not be answering your questions in order but here are my thoughts

first regarding cost v/s performance for the diyer nothing comes close to the price of STM32F1XX series on ebay. The stm32F105/107 prices are coming down slowly. Hope the same will work for the STM32F7XX series

In terms of past experience I have worked with Microchip that was my first microcontroller. I have used pic16, dspic and pic32, also worked with Arduino and ST microcontrollers STM8 and STM32F1X, STM32F4X series

I don't consider microchip old they have a good stand in the 8bit microcontroller market but I have yet to see how it goes on with ARM pushing to lower prices on their affiliated manufacturers. Microchip was very popular at the golden age of pid16F84 and pic16F877 in the diy community. Their pic18 got some attention but I feel its far from the time when they ruled. In the meantime Arduino has become very popular and now that Arduino has intel building microcontrollers for their boards and Microsoft for windows10 iot(at least for the lumia phone) I think this will give microchip maybe less appeal to the diy community but their chip was built for industrials in the first place and they still hold strong there.

I don't think there are bad microcontrollers but like you said rather its the one you have handy or trust to make the job that i think you will like. But I don't hate any of them

In terms of software I have used arduino,MPlab, mplabx, COIDE, IAR, ST visual developer. The one I like the least is Arduino but to be honest comparing Arduino sketch with industrial grades IDE is quite unfair but its the inability to add as many header and source files in a single project which I find annoying.

The only sad thing is that microcontrollers yet have to make their way into diy audio for direct audio applications, besides the STM high density series or some nxp chips very few have a useful I2S bus + USB FS + enough floating point power to do some serious dsp applications. The STM32F7 seems to have solved some of that we'll see.

in what areas do you use microcontrollers? power control, system automation, automotive application? , consumer electronics?
STM32F401 is one of the affordable (and low power) ones that does have I2S. Not particularly high speed though - if you need more grunt there's the 407.

The cheapest ARM I've so far seen is the 20pin TSSOP 32F030. They are about 3 for $1 on Taobao. Its a decent 48MHz M0 not particularly low power but at the price who cares too much.
I do not know if you ever heard about the Zbasic and the Basicmicro microprocessors. I used them a lot since they are easy to program and also can be program as Arduino. I like that somebody it is trying to interest the members to familiarized with the micro world since it will make your project design more easy to built. Keep the good worked.
microcontrollers yet have to make their way into diy audio for direct audio applications

There have been a few projects on this forum that use a small board, usually an Arduino or compatible for controlling an amp or its peripherals. Applications like tube amp bias control or remote controlled volume and source switching are easy.

Back in 2008 I designed a SE tube amp with a modulated plate supply created with a dsPIC based SMPS. The power supply varied the supply voltage at an audio rate to feed the output tube just enough voltage to work properly at any given moment in time. The result was submitted into a Circuit Cellar / Microchip design contest where it won a prize and got published. This allows huge efficiency improvements so more power output can be obtained from a given tube. This technology became common in cell phones during the same time period to extend battery life.

I recently became aware of an Arduino compatible called the Teensy. Versions 3.X are powered by a Freescale / NXP ARM Cortex M-4 chip at 72 MHz. Previous version are powered by Atmel chips. Overclocking Teensy V3.2 to 96 MHz is a menu pick in the Arduino development package.

There is an Audio library that incorporates a visual "drag and drop" screen for building all sorts of audio gadgets including music synthesizers, test equipment, guitar FX boxes, and WAV players. There is an Audio I/O "shield" that offers 16/44 stereo in and out which works well for CD quality audio. FFT analysis is also in the library.

How well does it work? I have been tinkering with one for about two weeks now and I have a 3 oscillator (1V/oct VCO's!!!!), two filter (again 1V/oct), 3 VCA, 1 LFO, synth with some FX, ALL running inside a single Teensy V3.2. This little board is finally the enabling tech for stuffing a synth INSIDE the guitar.
Dear Zeus_threat,
In your introduction I think see Microchip µC, is it old fashioned for you? Best ragards.

I have been using Microchip since 1985.
I was a Consultant for 13 years.
The PIC's have really come on a long way since then.
The early stuff was quite basic.
My latest project is a USB scope using a PIC32MZ that runs at 200MHz.
The A2D runs at 2MHz.
The only pain with them is they are 0.5mm pitch SMD devices so take some time to solder if you don't have proper oven etc.
I found plenty of solder wick gets rid of excess solder.
I have been using Microchip since 1985.

Microchip didn't exist until 1987, although "PIC" chips did.

The PIC or Peripheral Interface Controller was designed by General Instruments for use inside their own cable TV boxes to control the front panel and frequency synthesizer. GI and several other large companies like Motorola began separating out the individual business units, and as was popular at the time, the discrete semiconductor businesses were one of the first blocks to be chopped. GI spun off its semiconductor business as "Microchip" in 1987, and they were acquired by a venture capital group in 1989.

One of my little "home projects" consumed about 1/4 MILLION PIC16C54's in 1993 getting me a lot of free stuff from Microchip. The SMD version struck gold again in 1995 with the PIC16C621.

Motorola would announce plans to kill off its discrete semiconductor business in 1998. Before the axe fell a group of private equity people would arrange for an "employee owned" buyout which became ON Semiconductor.

It is interesting to see how both of these spin-offs succeeded and flourished while both their parent companies have died. GI ate up most of the smaller players in the cable TV box business before being swallowed itself by Motorola.

Motorola has since been systematically been dismantled and sold off piece by piece by the Wall Street Wizards who put 100,000 people out of work for fun and profit. Motorola's cable box division was sold to Arris, their strongest competitor. Most of the major cable MSO's have since switched to Samsung boxes. Motorola spun off its remaining semiconductor business as Freescale which has been sold at least twice since, now belonging to NXP. Their cell phone division is now owned by Lenovo, and the networks division (cell tower equipment) was sold to Nokia.......

A good chunk of EVERYBODY'S silicon is fabricated by TSMC (Taiwan Semi Manufacturing Corp) and packaged at AMKOR (AMerica, KORea).
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