Not sure how I missed this one for two months. I see there is already some serious contention with Atmel employees.
I wonder what it will be like for the sales force to be selling PICs, AVRs and ARMs all into much of the same market space? I wonder if the PIC32 will finally bite the dust with ARMs all around it crowding it out of the market? Or maybe the dsPIC will go away?
It definitely would. Maybe I'm biased, but after working with AVRs for several years IMO at the 8 bit low end the AVR optimized-for-C architecture, plus a free high-quality compiler with full optimizations for every device, is the clear winner over the old-ass PICs.
Only turbonerds hand write ASM for any real shit these days.
Why would you say the ARMs aren't "in the same space as PIC32"? They are both available at about the same performance levels, both come with a range of memory and peripherals. I think the main difference is there is one company making PIC32s while there are dozens making ARM devices for the same applications.
I disagree. The ARM A-core is for cell-phone sized stuff (and possibly desktop). But the Cortex M-cores show up in some pretty small processors. Anything that can be had for under a buck in quantity isn't a "big processor".
There are plenty of Arduino-compatible boards with non-AVR chips. Microchip makes one. Plus there is one with an Atmel Cortex M0, SAMD21, the Arduino Zero .
I think that Arduino will gradually move away from the AVR line, but it is a very profitable product line and Atmel would not discontinue it. After all, you can buy a Cortex M? from a bunch of companies, but an AVR user might not want to convert to ARM.
My former colleague is a "Wizard of Make" and senior manager at Atmel and runs around the world promoting Arduino. I hope he's safe.
I don't think Arduino is much of a factor in the big picture. What matters is sales and Arduino is oneseys-twoseys. They care about sales of millions. I don't know what sort of profitability the AVR provides to Atmel, but I think it might be hard for Microchip to shut it down without doing damage to the bottom line.
Not sure what that means.
Not sure if this is a valid comparison. CM0s under a dollar are very limited devices. I can't imagine there aren't AVRs with similar capabilities at similar prices.
What we'd found is that the PIC32 fit better. The Cortex M had, in general, fewer peripherals. But this is gonna be an observer bias thing. I was also pushing for an Ethernet port, and it seems like PIC had a better story there.
This is also true. I just found the PIC series to be very easy to work with.
I recall a discussion on this some years ago. I can't imagine this is still true in any meaningful way unless you have very unusual requirements. Let's face it, if the ARM CMx devices didn't cut the mustard in some way, they would not have taken off as they did.
I also remember a conversation some years back where I forecast the rise of the ARM to dominate the MCU market. Some argued that the core didn't matter in a meaningful way, much more important were the peripherals which change between different makers even with the same CPU core. That is all true, but it has become irrelevant as users pick a CPU core and become comfortable with that. Even if they have to switch makers to get a peripheral they want, as long as the new devices is supported by the same tools they often are willing to do that.
With the PIC32 you are stuck with one maker. I don't know how profitable the PIC32 is, but there are various costs associated with supporting a line and if the sales don't continue to justify it, the line can get dropped. Which do you think has the larger sales, the PIC32 or the ARM CMx devices? Microchip may not axe any of the MCU lines. But with this merger the first two to be considered I would think would be dsPIC and PIC32.
After Cypress dropped their bid for Atmel, and Atmel spurned Dialog, I thought that Intel might swoop in. Intel has been making noise about getting back into the embedded market, where they once had a huge presence with the 8051 product line (and before that the 804x line. They finally gave up on the idea of the x86 architecture in embedded.
All these M&As of companies doing embedded stuff and Intel is left out.