There is always a choice between cost and performance

Some time ago it was quite obvious which microcontroller you had to pick for your next project. For low cost and slower applications you simply selected 8-bit micro. When design needed to do intense processing you most likely had to go with ARM or other solution. Today situation is a bit different. Sometimes you are in situation when lowest end ARM microcontroller is way cheaper than 8-bit micro and it still offers several times better performance. And final decisions sometimes are driven by loyalty, experience or ecosystem. Lets not get in to that kind of discussion. Every microcontroller family has to offer something unique that looks attractive in particular situations. ARM Cortex microcontrollers have great position right now because they have something to offer all embedded hardware niches. Lets take a quick look at two development boards from STM where one carry ARM Cortex-M0 and another ARM Cortex-M4F microcontroller. You can get both discovery boards from Newark really cheap. The first one is called STM32F0Discovery, The name already says that it is based on ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller STM32F051R8T6. It has… Continue reading