Electronics > Microcontrollers

How do you search for a microcontroller ?

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ColinB:
If you want to be successful in picking the right MCU, you probably need to think more specifically about your requirements. How do you know you need 100 MHz or 500 MHz? Because the core speed is only one factor of many.

Using smart and suitable peripherals for I/O will allow you to go much faster than simply a super high core clock.

For instance, the comments about RP2040 and its PIO system are spot on, it's a very interesting design.  Or something like STM32H7 if you need a lot of processing power or math.

Interestingly the Cortex-M0+ and Cortex-M23 are unique in that they have an optional single-cycle I/O port, which could make them faster than a big Cortex-M4/M7 if you need to do a lot of high speed GPIO through bit-banging etc.

josip:

--- Quote from: ColinB on April 25, 2024, 07:35:28 pm ---Interestingly the Cortex-M0+ and Cortex-M23 are unique in that they have an optional single-cycle I/O port, which could make them faster than a big Cortex-M4/M7 if you need to do a lot of high speed GPIO through bit-banging etc.

--- End quote ---

As I mention on this topic, some devices from IMXRT M7 familly (for example low cost entry device 1010) are with single cycle (M7 domain) HS GPIO that can togle at 150 MHz, much faster than any M0+ or M23.

artag:
There are an impossibly large number to select from. As Smokey implies, the learning curve for an unfamiliar one can be brutal - ST are particularly complicated to set up and their Cube system to help generates code that many people despise.

If you have any existing systems, use a top-end device within that (eg Teensy within the arduino ecosystem) to produce a POC at low cost in terms of learning effort, and look out for problem areas such as cost, speed etc. You might prototype on teensy and then go to  an FPGA with embedded processor once you have a good idea of your needs.

Don't commit to a device you have no experience of and have to spend 6 months learning before you can be productive, only  to find there's some new requirement, constraint, or bottleneck that forces you to change.
 

Kasper:
I use Digi-Key for more serious searching but if I just want something quick and easy, I'll see what Adafruit and Sparkfun have.

They seem good at selecting components and their example code is usually helpful. 

Into RP2040 lately, Adafruit has nice boards with extra features and example code.
 Seeed has very small $5 boards.

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