01 March 2012 More mcu part numbers than makes sense? A few years ago, Luminary Micro (now part of TI) started a trend by launching an ARM Cortex-M based mcu family with about 80 variants. That was a new approach and other manufacturers followed suit. Today, it's quite possible there are more than 1000 Cortex-M based variants on the market. That's a significant number, but that number is set to grow significantly. The reason? More than 100 companies have taken a license to use one of the Cortex-M cores in their products – more than 50 of those are for the Cortex-M0. But relatively few have announced products – only 10 have announced M0 based products, for example. With the prospect of thousands of part numbers, has the time come to take a different approach? One leading mcu developer is having a serious think about the problem and may be changing its strategy. But will it happen? Luminary set a trend which will be hard to reverse and it will be a brave company that shows a slimmed down portfolio to a market that seems to be rating suppliers by the thickness of their catalogues. Author Graham Pitcher Comment on this article This material is protected by MA Business copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team. What you think about this article: Add your comments Name Email Comments Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published. Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.