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Topic: 32-bits is the new 8-bits (Read 6 times) previous topic - next topic

Graynomad

I got the usual email from Element14 today with the latest specials, two of which were these



Hands up all those who want to buy an 8-bit single chip for 30% more than a whole 32-bit development board :)

Yeah I know one's probably subsidised or whatever, but is it any wonder some people are moving away from 8-bitters.

I've seen 32-bit processors for as little as $1.10 and $1.50 is common, whereas the Mega328 as used in the standard Arduinos is ~$3.

32-bits is the new 8-bits.

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Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Boffin1

I am just getting to know 8 bit Arduino Rob,  don't move the goalposts unless it works with the only IDE I know a little of :-)
With my mobile phone I can call people and talk to them -  how smart can you get ?

retrolefty

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32-bits is the new 8-bits.


I have little doubt that the 32 bit microcontroller is already or will become the defacto standard in industry and most likely even down to the hobby level. As we arduino folks write in the C/C++ language anyway the difference is kind of moot for beginners wanting to learn programming.

However even thought one can't stop the tide I will state I still feel the 8 bit DIP packaged microcontroller along with it's strong output pin current capacity still has advantages for the beginners wanting to learn basic electronics via microcontroller projects. Also the ease in which one can take a programmed chip out of a Uno's chip socket and easily mount and wire it into a dedicated project board will be missed by some of us. So while I've already bought my first 32 bitter, the Teensy 3.0, it will be a long time before I stop using my herd of AVR based boards and my stock of blank 328p chips.  8)

Lefty

Graynomad

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don't move the goalposts

Actually I'm all for some stability even if that means not being at the bleeding edge. Boards are coming out so fast these days that you can't keep up and from a developer's point of view it's so hard to decide what to design a board for I've pretty much given up and gone back to the main processor on my current project being an ATmega32U4 as used in the Leonardo. (OK there's an 32-bitter in there as a co-processor :) but that's just a peripheral chip and another story)

@Lefty
Agreed, one day you just won't be able to buy the simpler more robust chips in much the same way as you can no longer buy a simple car without any computer crap in it. What people will do then I don't know, breakout boards with built in IO buffers I guess.

Maybe there's an opening there for a bright young lad, a 32-bitter with IO buffers on a DIP carrier.

______
Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

retrolefty

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Maybe there's an opening there for a bright young lad, a 32-bitter with IO buffers on a DIP carrier.


Well the Teensy 3.0 is already half that requirement. It's built as a 28 pin .6" wide DIP module, just add header pins and you have a DIP plug in device. But any IO buffering required will have to be done on the board it mounts into.

Lefty

Boffin1

All my projects use embedded 328 chips, I will be lost without them, unless someone comes up with what you suggested on a carrier.

Incidentally, I have 2 arduino boards, and have had to change the worn out DIP sockets only twice on one, and once on the other. I often plug and unplug chips 20 times a day, and promise myself to try the ICSP when I get a chance !
With my mobile phone I can call people and talk to them -  how smart can you get ?

Boffin1

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Well the Teensy 3.0 is already half that requirement. It's built as a 28 pin .6" wide DIP module, just add header pins and you have a DIP plug in device. But any IO buffering required will have to be done on the board it mounts into


That sounds promising, I have no problem with buffering on the external pcb, its the programming that worries me....
With my mobile phone I can call people and talk to them -  how smart can you get ?

Graynomad

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Well the Teensy 3.0 is already half that requirement.

That's true.

I guess the problem with on-board buffering is controlling the IO features on a pin-by-pin basis. For example how do you have pin 1 as an input with pullup and pin 2 as an output. And that's not even thinking about the analog IO.

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its the programming that worries me....

I haven't used any but AFAIK many of the current environments have that covered in an Arduino-like manner. So that shouldn't worry you too much.

_____
Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

MichaelMeissner


I am just getting to know 8 bit Arduino Rob,  don't move the goalposts unless it works with the only IDE I know a little of :-)

FWIW, the teensy 3.0 (Arm Cortex-M4) uses the existing Arduino IDE.  True, it just came out, and there still some missing functionality and teething problems, but the IDE is the 1.0.1 IDE.

Jack Christensen


Agreed, one day you just won't be able to buy the simpler more robust chips ...


Possibly so, but I hope some subset of the more popular parts will live on as "legacy" devices. We can still get 555 timers, Z80s, 6800s, etc.

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... you can no longer buy a simple car without any computer crap in it.


Hear hear! Glad I'm not the only one that feels that way. I think I'm pretty good with a lot of technology, and I will sure use it to advantage where possible, but doesn't it seem like we do a lot of things just because we can these days? Cars seem to be a prime example.
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/

Graynomad

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Z80s

Yes and all my old favourite IO chips are still available as well. You can even still get the Micro Professor dev kit. Unbelievable. I swear that one day I'll make a retro board with a Z80, even if there's a BGA packaged ARM under the 40-pin DIP that emulates the old processor :)

[rant]
We spend a lot of time in the outback and the horror stories I hear about vehicles that "fail to proceed" because of a stupid sensor failure or some such are just amazing.

For example, a mate of mine has a brand new MAN 4x4 truck, one day it refused to start because it thought the brake linings were worn. Some Ahole in Germany thinks "Well it's dangerous to drive with worn brakes so we won't let you". Tough luck if you're 500k from the nearest town and 1500k from a MAN dealer. (I should add that in this case he was in a major city, but that's not the point, he could have been anywhere)

Another example. A bloke up on Cape York had a failure in his Nissan 4x4. It does allow "limp home" mode at 20 or 30kph so he figured oh well I'll just have to drive the 800k back to town slowly and take a week or so to do it. Of course over that time you have to camp so that night he stops. Next morning no go, you only get one chance to limp home, once you turn the motor off that's it. Decided by some Japanese engineer with a Nissan dealer on every corner no doubt.

As I say to people I meet in the bush with modern vehicles, you can't fix a computer with a sapling and some fencing wire. I drove from near Darwin to south of Brisbane once (over 3000k) with no panels on the front of my car, a radiator from a totally different vehicle and a headlight from yet another vehicle all tied together with wire. (Why? I hit a bull at 80mph and totalled the front of the car, we had it fixed in 3 days on the side of the road and carried on)

My truck is a '71 model and my last 4x4 was a '84 model, there was maybe 10 wires between them :) I welded the chassis of the 4x4 once to get home and hot wired the LPG/petrol control on another occasion. I know people that have driven on three wheels using a tree as a skid for the fourth. You have to be able to do that sort of thing in the bush.

I now have a modern 4x4 and in many ways wish I'd never bought it. They are very reliable there's no doubt about that, but if it breaks in the bush I'll probably have to leave it there.

[/rant]

______
Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

pico


I've seen 32-bit processors for as little as $1.10 and $1.50 is common, whereas the Mega328 as used in the standard Arduinos is ~$3.


Chip pricing is quirky, to say the least. At the moment I can buy DIP Atmega328 for ~$3 in small qty, DIP Attiny85 for ~$2 in small qty, and DIP Atmega8 ~$1 in small qty.

Given that the Atmega8 beats the Attiny85 in just about everything (except perhaps compactness), I'm recently been moving my low end projects to this chip over the Attiny85.

Element14's prices as advertised usually aren't very competitive for small qty, but they certainly will negotiate aggresively on higher volume! I have had my eye on the dev board too, btw, but I'm getting a backlog of cool dev boards to play with as it it is!

WiFi shields/Yun too expensive? Embeddedcoolness.com is now selling the RFXduino nRF24L01+ <-> TCP/IP Linux gateway: Simpler, more affordable, and even more powerful wireless Internet connectivity for *all* your Arduino projects! (nRF24L01+ shield and dev board kits available too.)

pico

#12
Oct 19, 2012, 04:33 am Last Edit: Oct 19, 2012, 05:12 am by pico Reason: 1

I now have a modern 4x4 and in many ways wish I'd never bought it. They are very reliable there's no doubt about that, but if it breaks in the bush I'll probably have to leave it there.


Which makes me think: You've identified a real problem. Wherever there's a problem there's an opportunity...

It's a niche market, but perhpas you could think about simple, rugged, repairable/bypassable/accessible electronic modules to replace some of the "sensor rich" versions that infest modern vehicles. Buy a new Landcruiser, rip out all the fancy electronics, replace it with Rob's bush-bashing worthy gear, and away you go!

(Might void your warranty though. LOL!)
WiFi shields/Yun too expensive? Embeddedcoolness.com is now selling the RFXduino nRF24L01+ <-> TCP/IP Linux gateway: Simpler, more affordable, and even more powerful wireless Internet connectivity for *all* your Arduino projects! (nRF24L01+ shield and dev board kits available too.)

Graynomad

:)

I can see it now, the new "we don't need no stink'n sensors" ECU module, complete with N8FW (number 8 fencing wire) and STOS (small tree or sapling) interfaces.

I still can't figure out why I never made my fortune in electronics :(

And to think we're talking about drive by wire on another thread, God help us. You'll cross the border into another country and the on board GPS will flip the thing to left-hand drive (or vv).

______
Rob
Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Jack Christensen

#14
Oct 19, 2012, 05:20 am Last Edit: Oct 19, 2012, 05:22 am by Jack Christensen Reason: 1
Rob, great examples there. Here are some that stick out in my mind.

Many years back, don't quote me, but I think I may have read it in some IEEE publication. Pre-production luxury car being shown off to the suits, and it won't start. Once the red-faced engineers got it back to the lab to diagnose, it was discovered that the high-end audio system was causing a storm on the bus and the start command couldn't get through.

First-hand from an engineer who had been to a shouting session on the problem. Motorized sunroof was having problems opening and closing. It would bind and stick. Turns out there was a motor on each side to move the rather large and heavy glass. Not sure of the exact details, but the bottom line was a failure to communicate perfectly over the bus between the two motors and they were therefore not keeping in sync and causing a bind.

This is when I began to suspect things had gone too far.

Lastly, we had a nice sedan back in the late-80s. The speedo looked like a normal analog type with a needle, i.e. connected to the trans via a mechanical cable. There was a recall that involved replacing the chip in the ECM (we never did experience whatever the problem was). The wife and I went to pick up the car after the fix, and she drives it back. Now, she is a very conservative driver, but on the expressway coming home, I could hardly keep up with her. Asked how fast she was going and she said 70mph, which was the speed limit. After a brief test, something was obviously wrong, so back to the dealer where they discovered the chip had been replaced with one for another model, and so the maths that drove the servo for the speedo needle were causing the indicator to be low.
MCP79411/12 RTC ... "One Million Ohms" ATtiny kit ... available at http://www.tindie.com/stores/JChristensen/

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