[time-nuts] Follow-up question re: microcontroller families

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Sun May 26 12:00:49 EDT 2013

> But for many applications, the inevitable overhead
> (power, heat, external components, OS, etc) simply
> eliminates the gain of having a better/faster CPU.
> Sometimes I end up using a 6 or 8 pin PIC with only
> a few lines of code to to solve complex problems where
> a (F)PGA/CPLD design would be a lot of work and a
> 16/32bit microcontroller simply overkill.

As it turns out there are a LOT more simple jobs than there are
complex jobs.  This is why they make and sel a lot motr 8-t
controllers than they sell 32-bit controllers.

For example I want to control the cooling fan for a rubidium
oscillator's heat sink.   I only need three pins, 1) the temperature
sensor, 2) Fan tachometer pulse, fan voltage.  A $1 "tiny AVR" 8-pin
chip can handle this just fine and we are talking about 20 lines of
code maybe after the pins are set up.  Using an ARM and running an OS
would be silly overkill.


Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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