Author Topic: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?  (Read 2606 times)

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Offline suku

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Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« on: October 02, 2017, 08:15:55 am »
I'm looking for a micro for one of my designs, and one of the requirements is native USB2.0.
I'm used to working with AVR so that's where I started. My question is: Why is for example the ATXMEGA32A4U cheaper than the ATMEGA32U4.

The XMEGA has the same package but much nicer set of peripherals faster core and lower price. Why?
 

Online hans

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 08:26:44 am »
Probably a different process technology resulting in smaller die area and higher yields, thus being cheaper to produce.

Still though, 8-bit AVRs aren't particurarly cheap chips compared to competitor offerings these days, like ARM.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 08:39:52 am »
I got the impression that the XMEGA  range didn't sell as well as they'd like so maybe pricing to improve demand. A newer chip will probably have a smaller die size which will reduce cost.

Microchip have always introduced new chips and then increased pricing on older ones, which I'm sure is profitable for them  as many customers don't want to go to the effort to migrate to newer devices.
 
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 08:57:21 am »
16 bit is really in an awkward position. It doesn't have any significant speed increase over 8 bit, and price or power usage isn't better than 32 bit.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 08:57:40 am »
I am not 100% but I have a feeling the xmega range are going to be phased out quietly. They are great devices and like every architecture, have their qwerks but I have done several projects with them. But their pricing I did not think was cheap. After Microchip bought Atmel, the price of them almost doubled in some cases.

I am not sure if starting a new project I would choose the xmega if it was a long term production project. Maybe the SAM range are the ones Microchip are pushing more and likely to continue to develop? But maybe they are more expensive?




 

Offline richardman

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 09:11:56 pm »
The actual silicon cost is negligible. Manufacturing cost is also dependent in which technology / fab are used.
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Online andersm

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 10:33:17 pm »
16 bit is really in an awkward position. It doesn't have any significant speed increase over 8 bit, and price or power usage isn't better than 32 bit.
Also worse to write code for, with ugly hacks to extend the address space (eg. PIC24, MSP430).

Offline b_force

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 10:52:39 pm »
I'm looking for a micro for one of my designs, and one of the requirements is native USB2.0.
I'm used to working with AVR so that's where I started. My question is: Why is for example the ATXMEGA32A4U cheaper than the ATMEGA32U4.

The XMEGA has the same package but much nicer set of peripherals faster core and lower price. Why?
The question is why nobody actually uses them?

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Online Yansi

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 11:11:23 pm »
I wouldn't say nobody uses them. We did use XMEGA in some project for like 3 or 4 years. Later we moved everything to STM32 or STM8 and I would not back off to them again.
 

Offline b_force

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 12:14:25 am »
I wouldn't say nobody uses them. We did use XMEGA in some project for like 3 or 4 years. Later we moved everything to STM32 or STM8 and I would not back off to them again.
I was more referring to Arduino etc.

The only thing I know is that Atmel had some major issues with delivering a few years back.
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Online Yansi

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 12:23:50 am »
OK. Well I saw those old crusty AVR chips in some places. For example in a  USB-to-DMX converter from Martin Light. But cannot remember if I seen them anywhere else.  :-//
 

Offline richardman

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 01:40:09 am »
The XMega IO system is very different from the AVR/MegaAVR, and the event system is totally new. So a user will have to learn new stuff, and if they are going to consider that, they might also consider different MCU families.
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Offline funkathustra

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 04:50:00 am »
How on earth do you consider XMega parts "cheap"?

Staying inside the Atmel universe, the SAM D21 is available from DigiKey for $1, and it's got identical memory configuration and a similar peripheral set.

My question is, "why are XMega parts so expensive?"

Or am I missing something?
 
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Online hans

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Re: Why are Atmel XMEGA chips Cheap?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 04:53:11 pm »
No you're not. The chips are very expensive compared to e.g. ARM offerings like I said, including the ones from Atmel/Microchip themselves.

Compare the ATXMEGA64D3-AU and the ATSAMD20G18A.

You'll find the ATSAM has more MHz, double the FLASH, 4x the RAM, more or less the same peripherals but more counters, and it costs about half as much on Farnell (ATXMEGA: 3.38 euro, ATSAM: 1,79 euro).

I suspect Hungary, being an EU member country, not to be drastically different. As such price wise it makes no sense anymore to use 8-bit parts at this scale.
If you want smaller chips, then don't buy the AT(X)MEGA series but an ATTINY.
 


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