[vcf-midatlantic] Semi-OT: microcontollers (?)
mcguire at neurotica.com
Thu Jun 29 15:59:32 EDT 2017
On 06/29/2017 03:45 PM, - - wrote:
> This is dangerous territory. There are plenty of absolutely current
> processors which just happen to be 8-bit architectures. 8-bits doesn't
> imply anything at all about age. (I know YOU know this, this is mainly
> for the benefit of folks here who might be stuck on certain assumptions)
> And I sincerely hope nobody here actually considers RPi to be a
> "microcontroller"...with its video, keyboard/mouse interface, network
> interface... Wow. ;)
> There are a lot of gray areas and certainly quite a bit of overlap.
> 8035/8047/8051 Familes - Microcontroller (love the 8052, a ton of RAM at
No argument here.
> 8018x - Microcontroller
There are full-blown MS-DOS PCs built around these.
> Z180 - Microcontroller (my Circuit Cellar/Micromint boards run on these)
There are full-blown CP/M desktop systems built around these.
> Z8 - Microcontroller (I think)
> 6800 - Microprocessor (no internal RAM/ROM)
> 6802 - Microcontroller (? has RAM, no ROM)
> 6807 - Microcontroller (I have one with a piggy back for EPROM)
> 68HC11 - Microcontroller (I have the A0 which has the ROM disabled)
> AVRs - Microcontrollers
> PIC32 - Microcontroller (well that's what they're call by Microchip
> though some could be SoC)
...until you put UNIX on one, which has been done.
> ARM - Oh I give up ;-). Many are Microcontrollers but since ARM is
> licensed IP and not hardware it's up to the manufacturer.
So as I said, gray areas. For several of them, I think whether or not
it's reasonable to consider it a microcontroller may be based on its use
in a given application. Z80s are used in plenty of embedded applications.
The metric that I usually use (as an embedded systems designer) is
whether or not it has on-chip RAM and ROM. But then some of the
microcontrollers I use don't, so..
Much like the "firsts", we're splitting hairs and trying to rigidly
define something that's fairly fluid.
Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA
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