Microcontrollers – whether 8, 16 or 32bit – are all around us: at home, at work,
in our cars and in industrial systems. Reflecting this abundance, the market for
microcontrollers is worth more than $16billion a year and growing strongly.
For a long while, microcontrollers – or mcus – were proprietary. But the advent
of the ARM Cortex-M range of processor cores has changed that by providing a common
platform on which mcu vendors can develop differentiated products. Nevertheless,
proprietary designs continue to prosper.
While 8bit parts continue to dominate the market – by revenue and by unit shipments
– the price performance advantage of ARM based 32bit devices, along with the need
to accommodate more complex software, is starting a move from 8bit to 32bit mcus.
And this is accompanied by the appearance of multicore devices.
New Electronics not only covers microcontroller technology and its end applications
regularly, but also reports on developments in the embedded software and operating