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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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I understand.  But an $80 microwave is not a $13 toy.  The toy is
planned with a well defined set of features that fit the price window.
A microwave will have more flexibility to *plan in* features if the cost
is not significant.  How many microwaves do you find that *don't* have a
menu of standard foods or other features that could be left out and
still not impact the basic funtion of a microwave?  The cheapest one I
see in Walmart still has those features.  I expect the couple of extra
pads on the keypad alone increase the cost by $0.10.  

But enough.  There will always be products that do not have *any* use
for a 32 processor no matter how small the incremental cost.  Just as we
still have 4 bit apps now when the cost difference is very slight.  But
clearly the trend will change as the cost of the 32 bit parts comes
down.  I expect the 8 bit parts will only dominate for a few more
years.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...


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32 bit processors, as used today, usually need quite a few support processors.

An intel based PC for example:

Base processor: A 32 bit (64 bit?) 80x86 derivative.

Support processors (of unknown bitsize)

 Keyboard controller inside motherboard (usually hidden in a chipset now days).
 Keyboard controller inside keyboard.
 Monitor control (OSD, autosync, etc)
 Modem
 Display card (possibly more powerful than the base processor in many ways)
 Hard disk.
 CD rom.
 Printer.
 Newer speaker systems with digital volume controls and USB support.
 Mouse
 Network routers, switches, hubs, etc.
 Now days stupid stuff like fan controllers w/digital temperature readout...

Counting the main processor used to write this post, I just counted 24 working
CPUs on my desktop. (Includes a couple of HP calculators, 3 remote controls, a
wireless desk phone (1 CPU in the handset, 1 in the base), etc, etc...

It's incredible the number of places you find CPU's now days!  Someone of 20
years ago might have made the argument: CPU's will never be as cheap as discrete
logic, they'll always draw more current, and be more expensive.  And they would
have been wrong, so I know where you're going with this!

It's not hard to see why currently, small processors, outsell the larger ones by
a good margin, at least qty wise (according to the Mouser distributor at my last
job), I'm sure the gap is smaller dollar wise.

But then using the "discrete" .vs. "CPU" analogy you can predict that processors
are going to get more and more powerful for the same price/performance ratio,
and part of this is going to be an increase in the internal data path and
register size.

Someday the cheapest, most energy efficient way to blink an LED, just may be
with a 32 bit processor and a battery.  And hopefully google will have archived
your original post so you can say "I told you so!".  ;-)

-Zonn

--------------------------------------------------------
Zonn Moore
Zektor, LLC
www.zektor.com

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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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It's all about profit in high volume stuff (toys, greeting cards, etc), when 32
bit processors are the same price or cheaper, and are the same size or smaller,
and use the same power or less, than 8 bit processors, then 8 bit processors
will go away. Otherwise there will be niches that 8 bit processors will fill
over 32 bits. (As there are still niches being filled by 4 bit processors,
though I'm sure they are becoming more and more scarce.)

One thing I can think of that has worked this way is memory. Because of
mass-production, it's cheaper to use a 32k RAM part than a 2k RAM part, assuming
you can even find a 2k part (or even 32k for that matter!).

It could be processors will go the way of memory in price, but unless they can
build 32 bits smaller, and have them use less power than 8 bits, there will
probably be applications where spending *more* money for an 8 bit processor
would be a requirement.

NASA, for instance, would probably place more emphasis on its current
consumption budget over a processor's ability to play Tetris using its spare
computational power. So even pricing won't necessarily kill the 8 bit processor.

-Zonn
--------------------------------------------------------
Zonn Moore
Zektor, LLC
www.zektor.com

Remove the ".AOL" from the email address to reply.

Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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there
suffice,
to

Price for a chip is related to the chip size, and if the chip is pin limited
then
the 32 bit CPU has the same price as the 4 bit.
If the design is core limited, then the extra die size of the 32 bit core
will add cost to the die.
The ARM7 core is but 0,7 mm2 in 0,18 micron and quite frequently
the micros are around 25 mm2.
I think that an ARM7 with 8 kB ROM , 1kB RAM in a 16 pin package easily
should be sub $1 today.


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for



--
Best Regards
Ulf at atmel dot com
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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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But many 4/8 bit apps simply don't need more features, so any extra expense
cannot be justified.
32 bit chips will never be used for simple apps like microwaves because 8 bit
chips will always be
cheaper.  


Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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Agreed.

8-bits was by far the dominant species of micro
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/kryten_droid/images/graph_micros.png
I assume one can extrapolate the graph still further.

Similarly, insects are by far the dominant species of life on Earth
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/kryten_droid/images/graph_insects.png
- mosquitoes have killed more humans than humans ever have.





Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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Do you also try to extrapolate the stock market?  It is much better to
know the causes that create the effects.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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This is totally meaningless - I'm sure at onetime your graph would have
shown that Values were the technology of the future with explosive growth,
and flat lines for all bittedness of processors.

Ralph



Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...


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I wasn't presenting a 'meaning'.

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True, but I never claimed it applied to years outside that graph.

The graph merely shows the trends in fairly recent years:
8-bitters far outsold 32-bitters, and sales were rising far faster.

This is contrary to the o.p.'s statement that things like ARM would replace
8-bitters.

I can't say what the trends are right now, but I would expect they haven't
changed much.

Rickman asked if I extrapolate the stock market.
If I could do that, I'd be rich!
Lots of people do try of course, and we all hope stocks grow long term.

I agree it is much better to know the causes that create the effects.

The stock market is notoriously hard to predict because the causes are
numerous and complex.

I'd guess proportions of processor sales are less so because
wider data paths use more silicon and tend to cost more and
manufacturers don't want to pay more than they need.

Of course, things change so maybe someone will find a killer app that raises
demand for 32-bit chips by a factor of 10...



Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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It was only a couple years ago that 8-bit processors passed 4-bit ones in
volume (units sold).  I think that 8-bit processors passed 4-bit ones in
dollar sales a year or two before that.

When compared to 4 and 8 bit parts, unit sales of 32 bit parts has been and
probably still is negligible.  Dollar sales, OTOH, is a different matter.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Where's th' DAFFY
                                  at               DUCK EXHIBIT??
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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
wrote:> >
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expense cannot be justified.
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bit chips will always be
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But apps don't stay siimple - I remember the time when a microwave didn't
need a processor.

So it's easy to envisage some change in expectation from consumers where
32bits get used.  The customer probablyh wont even use the feature, but
would require it anyway because all the other models have it.

Ralph



Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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cannot be justified.
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chips will always be
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Sounds good, but there are often features that will be used if the price
difference is small enough.  The price difference between a 4 bit MCU
and an 8 bit MCU is so small that just the convenience of not having to
code a 4 bit chip makes it worth it.  Likewise a 32 bit chip may only
cost $0.10 more than an 8 bit chip at the 45 um node.  So I expect there
are all sorts of things it can do that don't fit on the 8 bit chip to
justify the dime, even if they are silly and not related to the
product.  The microwave already has a keypad and a readout, I expect
there are some creative apps that you can do with that.  

If nothing else, in 15 years you may not be able to hire an engineer who
can program in assembly since they are all programming in C on 32 bit
chips... :)

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...

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in
obsolete.
web-based
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,
there
suffice,
expense cannot be justified.
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8 bit chips will always be
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Ow, that's nonsense. Engineers will ALWAYS be able to program or at least
read assembly, even 100 years from now. I agree that in the very near future
virtually all programming will be done in C (except on those cheap Chinese
goods with $0.10 processors) but it won't lead to extinction of assembly
programmers.



Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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I like your self assurance.  RIGHT NOW it is far easier to hire a C
programmer than an assembly programmer.  I did not say they would become
"extinct".  I simply said they would become hard to hire as they are
becomming NOW.  

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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I will bet a years salary you are wrong.

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in some cases but not in the majority.


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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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Brave move.
rickman just said less memory, and did not give the qty column :).
Mask ROM devices could easily get sub $2.

 DSP devices are doing this already - FLASH for development
and medium volumes, and ROM for high volume products,
needing stable code in both senses of the term.

-jg

Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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Especially since he doesn't know what I make a year...

--

Rick "rickman" Collins

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Re: trend of "ARM"... will this replace all other micro-controller and ...
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One problem with the ROM approach is that with ever decreasing technology
the number of chip you have to order will increase significantly.

Assume a 10 mm2 chip on a 12" wafer in the future.
The area of the wafer = 73000 mm2 and you may get maybe 6500 good chips out
of the wafer.
Each wafer lot = 24 wafers , so your minimum order is about 150,000 units...

We are not there yet, but ....
--
Best Regards
Ulf at atmel dot com
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