Future of XMEGA

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mojo-chan wrote:

ront1234 wrote:

Right, you may not really need an ARM in a toaster oven unless it's an IOT or has a video camera and sound.

 

ARM is quite competitive on price now, but the other big issue is reliability. For a toaster, that could potentially start a fire, you want something robust. Code as simple as possible, fully tested and audited. No huge black box libraries of manufacturer code. Run at 32kHz, single supply, wide temperature range, simple 8 bit ADC etc. It's realistic to do a full system test on power-up too, e.g. check all your RAM works properly, CRC the firmware and so on.

 

I don't see any extra black boxes in the SAMs compared to XMega. The only proprietary undocumented stuff in the SAMs is the touch controller, and that is also undocumented in all other Atmel MCUs, right? Including Xmega.

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ront1234 wrote:
I was reading somewhere and can't find it right now, that 32bit was on the increase in sales but seems to now be slowing compared to 8bit.

Who knows what what will really happen in the next few years?

Microcontrollers content from Electronic Design

11 Myths About 8-Bit Microcontrollers

by Wayne Freeman (Campaign Manager, Microchip MCU8 Business Unit)

Dec 12, 2016

http://electronicdesign.com/microcontrollers/11-myths-about-8-bit-microcontrollers

The 8-bit microcontroller celebrated its 44th birthday this year, but even though its making its way into many new applications, some very common myths surround the elder statesman of the embedded market.

...

 

1.  8-bit is going away.

...

Gartner’s 2015 Microcontroller Report lists the dollar value of both 8- and 32-bit annual sales in the ~$6B range— roughly equivalent to each other. Given the differences in average transaction price, the math tells us that there were three 8-bit MCUs designed into embedded systems for every one 32-bit MCU in 2015. Going away? Not anytime soon. 

 

...


http://www.avrfreaks.net/forum/future-8-bit-avrs-when-arm-here#comment-2129036 

 

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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"reports of the death of 8-bit microcontrollers have been greatly exaggerated"

 

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Quote:

ARM is quite competitive on price now, but the other big issue is reliability. For a toaster, that could potentially start a fire, you want something robust. Code as simple as possible, fully tested and audited. No huge black box libraries of manufacturer code. Run at 32kHz, single supply, wide temperature range, simple 8 bit ADC etc. It's realistic to do a full system test on power-up too, e.g. check all your RAM works properly, CRC the firmware and so on.

 

There are actually some medical devices using the 65C02, WDC is still producing the old technology processor in great volumes. --> http://www.westerndesigncenter.c...

I do like ARM though, I used to hack around at Motorola cell phones around 10 years ago.

I really enjoyed ARM7 assembly but haven't programmed an ARM since I got hooked on AVR's.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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you may not really need an ARM in a toaster

I had a finger in a toaster once and that was bad enough!

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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might be better off with a slice processor ... ?

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Some PC board hackers are using toaster ovens (they have an LCD readout of temp. and a timer) for surface mount part re-flow soldering, of course with varying success. (or failure)

I have a Black and Decker model but have never had a PC Board in it...yet. devil

 

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js wrote:

you may not really need an ARM in a toaster

I had a finger in a toaster once and that was bad enough!

 

Be careful if go to an emergency room it will cost an ARM and a LEG.

 

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mojo-chan wrote:

awneil wrote:

You don't have to use libraries for anything!

 

True, but here is a "minimal" example for ARM: http://pandafruits.com/stm32_pri...

 

That example is pretty dated.  The next lesson in that link uses SPL which is obsolete.  Most of the more recent efforts relate to using Hardware Abstraction Libraries that are compatible with Arduino Libraries.    Such is the nature of what most people want to use these days.

 

Even if one programs bare metal in ASM, there are still Macros and Libraries that will get created as most things are going to need some sort of register stack to be configured. 

 

I guess the issue is the quality of the library and who vets it for robustness and reliability.  Not to mention security exploits both accidental and intentional.

 

 

 

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Most of the more recent efforts relate to using Hardware Abstraction Libraries that are compatible with...

Well, that has become an almost-fail with Microchip's Harmony, though they are finally (2+ years)  mopping up the mess by fixing all of the loose ends.  They tried to make every option and parameter as infinitely flexible & seamlessly meshable with every other possible option in a push button approach to code generation.  Want 5 serial non blocking ports, at the same time as 2 graphics subsystems, all while running 3 tcp/ip instances...automatically, for one of any number of different hardware platforms??...well the first attempt  hit a few ruts in the road to say the least.  Leaving the poor users to wade through a blizzard of complex interlocking libraries and abstractions (some with rather sparse documentation).  Not sure if it supports multithreading.   Blinking an LED with automatically configured timers could never be so much fun (or maybe heartache).

When in the dark remember-the future looks brighter than ever.

Last Edited: Thu. Jun 1, 2017 - 08:19 PM
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jporter wrote:

Most of the more recent efforts relate to using Hardware Abstraction Libraries that are compatible with Arduino Libraries.    Such is the nature of what most people want to use these days.

 

Even if one programs bare metal in ASM, there are still Macros and Libraries that will get created as most things are going to need some sort of register stack to be configured.

 

That was the point. Not using those libraries isn't really an option. Technically the datasheet does document all the registers, but it's still far from enough to really understand how to operate those MCUs yourself.

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Any news - XMEGA never seems to get a mention these days?

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Eh? All the latest chips Atmel (/Microchip) have released most recently actually seem to be some form of Xmega. First there was the E5 series and more recently there's these odd "Tiny" chips that actually bear more resemblance to Xmega than tiny/mega.

 

It seems there road-plan is to concentrate on Cortex ARM chip (M0, M3, M4) for the "high end" of MCUs and then produce a lot of Xmega like Tiny's for the "low end" stuff.

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Well, we have the relatively new and so-called "XTiny" chips that use a lot of the XMega architectural details. Atmel/Microchip does not call them XTiny, but they are a pretty radical departure from previous Tiny devices. Neither Atmel nor Microchip has a habit of telling anybody what is coming, so you will just have to wait like the  rest of us.

 

Jim

Jim Wagner Oregon Research Electronics, Consulting Div. Tangent, OR, USA http://www.orelectronics.net

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clawson wrote:
concentrate on Cortex ARM chip (M0, M3, M4) for the "high end" of MCUs and then produce a lot of Xmega like Tiny's for the "low end"

Sounds a reasonable plan to me!

 

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There is still a lot of need for mid-range parts like the XMEGA and PIC24 lines. ARM just isn't there on power consumption yet, probably never will be. ARM can't beat an XMEGA for a lot of applications.

 

It's nice to have a road map when you are looking at making a new product that will probably be built for 10+ years... The battery life alone on ours is guaranteed 5 years minimum. When you write a lot of code for such a system, you really want to know that the line will stay current, the price won't shoot up, there won't be supply issues and there will be new models so you can keep using the same libraries and knowledge in the future.

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avrcandies wrote:
Well, that has become an almost-fail with Microchip's Harmony, though they are finally (2+ years)  mopping up the mess by fixing all of the loose ends.

Microchip Technology Inc

Microchip

Press Release

Microchip’s MPLAB® Harmony Software Upgraded to Include More Efficient Code and Enhanced Graphics Development Tools

MPLAB Harmony 2.0 Now Available as a Free Download

Chandler, Arizona

Sept. 11, 2017

https://www.microchip.com/en/pressreleasepage/mplab-harmony-software-upgraded

...

“We’ve gathered feedback from our customers and put an immense amount of effort into making our MPLAB Harmony software framework better, faster, more-efficient and more useful for developers." - Rod Drake, vice president of Microchip’s MCU32 division

...

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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