Well I have been relying on Power for 15+ years now. And for whatever they may keep - don't expect to see anything more than a few marketing blah-blah on a product page (they'll keep calling that sort of thing a "datasheet" though).
I'm not sure about the meaning of your complaint. This Qualcomm move worries me because Qualcomm seems to have a single-minded mission for something huge and I'm not sure what it is. The worry is that they seem willing to bulldoze anything that doesn't serve that mission.
I wish it were a complaint - there is no one to complain to so it is just a moan I suppose. Slashing all of the large processors which have remained available on the market for non politburo members is a big deal for me, life and death really. On top of that about half of *any* processors now on the market will vanish overnight for virtually all users on this group.
Hi Don, while I could do that with the 5200b the "family" thing is no help whatsoever. I know of no similar part being sourced by more than one maker so when they kill it that is it. It is still different, I can still buy parts Motorola has released 25 years ago - and this will come to an abrupt end should qualcomm buy nxp/freescale.
Then I have plans for the t1042 (t1040) - how do you replace that? There just are no processors of that complexity & power on the market from anyone else, thus qualcomming them means an end to the processor market as we know it. Unless you are a politburo member so you are entitled to data on a part you are just out in the cold. Then how long do you thing it will take for TI and the rest to get qualcommed (by whoever). I guess we'll all have to learn to herd cattle or something. Someone somewhere has decided to put an end to uncontrolled computer development - and I don't think we can do a damn thing about it.
There's never a "guarantee of supply", regardless of the component involved! Ages ago, you designed in parts based on the availability of second sources -- to provide some pricing leverage as well as some supply reassurances. Nowadays, most "advanced" devices are sole source so there is NO "drop in replacement" available from an alternate vendor, etc.
My point was to consider the possibility that they may announce the device(s) you are using will be discontinued. And, perhaps, budget for one "final buy" when that time comes: "I use N of these per year and need to be able to sell the existing design for Y years so I'll order N*Y+e of THIS PARTICULAR COMPONENT"
(Note that you don't have to buy all of the parts to build N*Y units as many of the components will continue to remain available, hopefully.)
This buys you Y years to come up with a replacement (enhanced) design without risking losing sales in the interim (due to the unavailability of those KEY parts).
I'm sure you'll be able to find "equivalent" components (in terms of capabilities, if not packaging). The problem will be that they (almost assuredly!) won't run PPC binaries. Hence my comment about being wed to the PPC family in your design...
I see fewer and fewer firms designing component level systems. Instead, it seems that the processor/core comes from a "module vendor" and firms just add I/O signal conditioning. Folks being more concerned with whether or not they can "start debugging code TODAY" than fine-tuning the hardware to their specific design requirements.
I've yet to finalize on a particular set of components as I'm hoping to ride the evolutionary wave forward until all my designs are done; then bind the designs to a particular set of components available/affordable at THAT time. Sort of avoiding the "premature optimization" that is inherent in selecting a hardware implementation.
I got that, in fact I had bought some processors when NXP bought Freescale, now I'll have to buy some more.
I am far less sure one can find that than you are. Porting to another architecture is not prohibitive for me, I did make vpa some 16 years ago to move from 68k (cpu32) to PPC and now the vpa (virtual processor assembly) compiler (well I guess it is a compiler and not an assembler in spite of the language name) can be prepared for another architecture more or less in a straight forward manner. BUT, where is going this _documented_ part to come from? Right now there is none on the market - and it would be insane to hope this will improve. Second, it will feel like a huge waste having to go down from power to an inferior architecture - ARM, x86, MIPS etc. Survivable but not nice at all.
Just to warn you - don't be so sure you will find *any* part with enough documentation unless you are fine with one of those who remain in busyness - Microchip are still there and... not many others I think. STM perhaps. Renesas - I don't know how documented their stuff is, perhaps it is. But none of these makes any parts large enough to compare to Freescale's QorIQ series, none comes even close. So unless the Freescale part of NXP get sold to someone else willing to continue the job and just the rest of NXP get qualcommed we are pretty much doomed, all of us here. Unless one has his own silicon house one is just out of the computer trade within just a few years - and at least I cannot think of having one - being as small as I am.
ST have some PPC microcontrollers that are (AFAIK) identical to ones from Freescale. There may be others - Atmel make copies of some old Freescale devices (albeit at extreme prices).
I believe there are similar devices with many cores and lots of Ethernet ports from other manufacturers, but often with MIPS cores - and often not available to people buying in small quantities.
However, while I think Qualcom buying NXP/Freescale would be a terrible idea, I can't imagine that it will lead to the immediate destruction of the key product lines of Freescale. It would not make economic sense - why would Qualcom buy NXP/Freescale if it did not want the existing products and customers? And the big Freescale customers are going to disappear as fast as they are able if Qualcom stops selling these PPC devices - the longevity of the parts is one of the main reasons those customers bought them in the first place.
Yes -- which effectively makes them unavailable! :<
IIRC, you could still buy 6502's and 8085's -- no doubt cuz they're used in some sort of munitions...
Note that the "availability" issue also applies to "ethereal" components. I.e., if you happen to use version X of software product Y, there is no guarantee that the vendor will sell you a *license* to use it (even though there is no *media* being transferred!) when you "need" it!
[Annoying because you KNOW there isn't a "manufacturing" issue]
these are better than nothing of course but of no use to me, they are just the smallest MCU-s and what I use are much larger SOCs. Basically I have no significant preferences to that sort of small thing - its processor does not matter as long as it can do what I need. I use Coldfire for such purposes at the moment but changing would be no serious issue, the code for such a small thingie just cannot be large enough to cause migration problems.
True, and on the practical side of it - talking 20 or 30 years - there are companies which try hard enough. ADI being one of them for example, Motorola-Freescale-NXP have also been pretty good at supplying
*successful* products over the years (I think the hc711e9 is still available - at least was a few years back when I checked).
My point exactly, why would I care what is on the market if it is only for politburo members. There are no parts on the market which could replace the t104x and the rest of the QorIQ line which are documented.
We can only hope this to be true. However, the possibility that they buy Freescale *exactly* in order to shut them down is by no means remote. The "why" on that can be some politburo thing which we may know of years later - if ever. Why did Intel buy Chips and tech and kill their b69030 part for example (the example is of much much smaller magnitude, just something which did hit me directly back then). I'll be praying you turn out to be right on this one of course.
If you buy the initial article, the core idea of the acquisition is NXP's NFC line so they can keep enabling you to swipe your cell phone instead of a credit card. That's apparantly a convenience, for anyone who couldn't tell because of how inconvenient it is.
If that's the case, then it's less about picking them up to kill the PPC stuff, and more just picking them up caring about it one way or another; in which case they probably spin it off to "create shareholder value" and "focus on core strategies".
Rob Gaddi, Highland Technology -- www.highlandtechnology.com
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