Selecting a Microcontroller: Part 5 – Power Consumption

Dennis Cecic, P. Eng. (d.cecic@ieee.org)Senior Member, IEEE Toronto Section In this article, we will discuss elements of low power operation in Microcontroller applications and uncover how power consumption can be managed by your firmware. Power-saving features of our 3 hero MCUs (PIC16F19197, PIC24FJ1024GA606, PIC32MZ1024EFH064) will also be highlighted and compared. This will (mostly) be a theoretical discussion,… Read more

Selecting a Microcontroller: Part 4 – I/O Throughput

Dennis Cecic, P. Eng. (d.cecic@ieee.org)Senior Member, IEEE Toronto Section CPU performance is only one aspect of MCU performance. In this article, we will discuss how to get your data on/off the chip, and compare the I/O throughput capability of our 3 hero MCUs (PIC16F19197, PIC24FJ1024GA606, PIC32MZ1024EFH064). What are Peripherals? Peripherals are dedicated hardware circuits, separate from the… Read more

Selecting a Microcontroller: Part 3 – CPU Performance

Dennis Cecic, P. Eng. (d.cecic@ieee.org)Senior Member, IEEE Toronto Section In this article, we’ll review key CPU and architectural features to identify potential compute performance bottlenecks. We’ll compare the CPUs in our Hero MCUs against these parameters: System Clock Frequency Addressable & Available Memory ALU Data Path Hardware Support for Arithmetic Operations and Extended Precision Simple… Read more

Selecting a Microcontroller: Part 2 – Cost

Dennis Cecic, P. Eng. (d.cecic@ieee.org)Senior Member, IEEE Toronto Section In this article, we will uncover cost considerations in selecting a microcontroller. Bill-of-materials (BOM) cost is usually the most important constraint in a design effort, and as an engineer, you should always strive for the lowest BOM cost in your designs. “An Engineer is someone who… Read more

Selecting a Microcontroller: Part 1 – Introduction

Dennis Cecic, P. Eng. (d.cecic@ieee.org)Senior Member, IEEE Toronto Section You’ve completed a project scope assessment and developed a basic product architecture, identifying some key constraints for your next design (cost, power, throughout, memory, size/weight, end-user experience etc). Now you can begin your search for a microcontroller. This can be a daunting task! In this series,… Read more