Disc analyser news update
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Fri Mar 26 15:42:57 CDT 2010
> > For an awful lot of applications you don't need more power than an old 8=
> > bit processor IMHO. Think of the large number of small PICs, 8051s, etc=20
> > thatare are in use.=20
> Sure. That's the reason why 8 bit controllers are still in large
> quantity production and new models come to the market.
> The point is: 30 years back there was no 32 bit 50 MHz controller
> available, that cost only as much as a high end 8 bitter. So you where
> limited when you actually needed that compute power.=20
Actually my moan is not with designers who use microcontrollers when they
need computing power. I would regard it as insane not to use a 32 bit ARM
microcontorller or similar if that's what was really needed. No, my moan
is about designers who use a microcontrollor (often a PIC or AVR) when
they don't really need it, when there are simpler, more reliable, and
more repairable solutions.
> > Eh? A simple microcprocessor + ROM + RAM + a couple of I/O chips will=20
> > work first time. It doesn't need to be debugged.
> It needs to be debugged. At least when it is build by me. Belive me. ;-)
Hmm... At least with a microprocessor+RAM+ROM+peripherals you can attempt
to debug it. You can make meaningful emasurements and work out what's
going wrong. With a single-chip microcotntroller there's an awful lot you
can't check (whuch is what started this discussion). WIth some
microcontrollers that I've used, mis-setting the clock configuration bits
can cause 'intereting' results and there's no way to see that the darn
thign isn't running
> > Seriously, there are places where they are the right thing to use. And=20
> > there are places where they are not. However, all to often so-called=20
> > designmrs want to solcve every problem with a mircocontroller...
> Designers talk the language they are familar with. Today most disigners
> are more familar with C then with BC548. ;-)
While undoubtedly true, that worries me -- a lot. I can't rememebr who
said 'Any 3rd-rate engineer can make a complicated device enve more
complicated. It takes a genius to go back to first principles', but alas
I feel there are far too manyy 3rd-rate engineers designing the things I
have to use...
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