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ARM changes 8bit mcu life expectancy

Despite all the hullaballoo surrounding 32bit mcus, 8bit parts remain firm favourites for many applications and are selected for cost reasons.

If evidence were needed, half of Freescale's mcu revenues are generated from the sale of 8bit mcus.

But how will the arrival of the Cortex-M0+ core change things? In the shape of the Kinetis-L family, this core will bring cost, power and support advantages that make it highly likely that Freescale's big 8bit customers will migrate their designs - although this won't happen overnight. In the words of one Freescale executive, it's now time for the company to look towards a total ARM portfolio.

While it's probably still too early to write the obituary of the 8bit mcu, that day is getting much closer.

Graham Pitcher

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