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The Preferred CISIUM Microcontroller

The Preferred CISIUM MicrocontrollerWe did a very extensive market study to decide which microcontroller would be the best for the CISIUM embedded strategy. There are hundreds of manufacturer as well as much architecture. Of course all of them have their pros and cons.

The decision was not easy; we spend many months in order to select the best processor that fits with our necessities. After the selection we had some doubts if we did the best choice, because we were very focused in the low cost, bad after some months we could confirm that not only was the cheapest 32 bits processor in the market for embedded and multimedia applications, also we had available one of the most powerful processor in the market.

For our selection, these were the key points we considered:

  • Must be a mayor silicon manufacturer witch ensure long term availability of products. We considered Renesas (the biggest), Freescale (the second), ST, Microchip, NXP, TI, AMD, Intel, Atmel, Toshiba and Samsung.
  • Since CISIUM is a low cost Electrical and Electronic Service provider, the processor must be focused in the low cost, rather than the high performance. We find out Renesas, Microchip, NXP and Atmel the best options.
  • Even though we wanted a very chip processor, we decided to be focused on the 32 bits architectures, rather than 8 bits. First reason: the big offer of 32 bits processor is dropping down the cost day by day. Second we believe that the trend is to add many features to whatever embedded application, like communication, audio and video. We rejected the 8051 architectures as well as the many properties 8 bit architectures form Renesas, Microchip and others.
  • Because we wanted to be able to provide solutions off the shelf to our customers, capable to handle many different applications, we needed a scalable architecture, easy to increase the performance without big impact in the engineering cost. This point was covered by almost all the mayor semiconductor manufacturers.
  • In CISIUM always we look for the best solution for our customers, so our whish was to find out a processor manufactured by many silicon industries. We were looking for the Linux in the semiconductor sector, a processor with a huge community with many engineering free tools. We consider three 32 bits architectures ARM, MIPS and Power PC.

After a cross reference of all the requirements we arrived to the next conclusion:

  • ARM as the basic architecture, offering a wide range of processors based on a common architecture that deliver high performance, industry leading power efficiency and reduced system cost.
  • NXP as the silicon manufacturer of microcontrollers using ARM cores. Leading ARM9/ARM7-based LPC3000 and LPC2000 families and the industry's fastest microcontrollers based on the low-power, cost-effective ARM Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M0 cores part of our LPC1000 family.

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