Friday, October 9, 2009

How to choose a Microcontroller

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There was a time when the microcontroller selection available was pretty much limited. Now there are so many available, it is a task to find the right one. Choosing a microcontroller depends on what you want to accomplish.When choosing a microcontroller, you have to ask yourself the right questions and research the different type of microcontrollers before making your choose.If you don't know what a microcontroller is or what it is used for, you may want to research it before trying to understand the information given in this article.

  • 1- Ask yourself what your needs are in terms of programmability and reprogrammability. This will help in determining memory requirements of the microcontroller.
  • 2- Decide what peripherals you will be using or wanting to use in the future.
  • 3- Decide on the physical packaging and the limitations that can be associated with it.
  • 4- Decide on memory aspects. More complexed systems will need more memory, and thus, bigger chips.
  • 5- Decide on the architecture of the system you are planning.
  • 6- Think about hardware and software tools that are manufactured with the microcontrollers compared to what you will be needing.
  • 7- Think about costs and what you have budgeted to spend on the microcontroller. Above anything, this will probably sway your decision on which one you will purchase if your are strictly restricted where costs are concerned.

After deciding on steps 1 to 7, choose an appropriate microcontroller. Some that you many want to research are the microchip, Atmel AVR, Intel 8051, Texas Instruments MSP 430, ARM, Cypress PSOC, Renesas H8, Zilog Z8, modules and hidden microcontrollers.
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