This is not an Microchip advertisement but a whining about that Atmel hasn't been able to improve the AVR series in a rapid rate. Especially the ever demanding speed topic.
Microchip and the PIC series is the greatest competitor to Atmel/AVR. I have come to the conclusion that AVR has the greater instruction set, FLASH and a RISC core in ALL parts and Microchips don't. On the small devices (8 pins) Microchip has just OTP devices.
But now thay are releasing something that I think is ment to be a AVR killer. An 8 pin microcontroller based on the "RISC" 18F core. Damn it, it has a whole bunch of things that is equal to some AVR:s and some very are better. First I realy thought it was a true "killer" but reading the data sheet reveals that the so called RISC is still no more than a Reduced Instruction Set. Not the One-cycle-execution. The devices come in clock speed of 40 MHz BUT, the clock is as before, diveded by 4 to get the internal clock and when again with 4 but this is pipelined to make it possible to executo an instruction as on the AVR on 1 or 2 clock cycles.
Some important data:
- 2 or 4 k FLASH, double the size of AVR
- 40 MHz speed. Divided by 4 gives the same speed as the 2343 that is the fastest 8 pin AVR.
- Selectable internal clock speed. Similar to tiny 12 I guess
- 8x8 bit hardware multiplier. Whops, great indeed!
- 16 bit timer
- In circuit programmable. (As all AVR)
- 77 instructions. (Compared to 90 on tiny and 120 on 2323/43)
- µA current consumtion
- Comes in a NARROW SOIC 8. That is 150 mil with instead of AVR 200.
- NO ADC. An important disadvantage for many.
- 256 bytes RAM and 64 bytes EEPROM. That is more RAM but similar or smaller EEPROM than AVR.
- Cost ?????
So, if they could put all that in a such a small package I wonder if Atmel could keep Microchip to eat up all the lead that Atmel have so far. Atmel have clearly showed with their tiny series that they have pit a great effort to be the leading manufacturer of the smallest microcontrollers.
I really hopes that the AVR series will show even more and faster improvement in the future.