I say YES.
My view is even a bigger in that I think it is time to start moving away from all the AVR parts given that there are alternatives that offer significantly more and better resources at similar and sometimes even better price points.
Also moving away from the AVR allows starting to phase in processors that are not only faster but easier to use for novices since only the AVR has the split memory address spaces that requires special user coding to deal with.
Also, the other processors have significantly more ram.
I place a high value on having const work correctly and more ram.
This means that novices don't have to learn proprietary AVR specific kludges like the progmem macros and their corresponding declarations and access routines since const "just works" as it should on all the other processors.. They also won't have to play games or learn optimizing techniques just to make fit into the part nearly as soon as there are so many more resources available on the other parts. And finally, there are many types of additional applications that start to become possible once there is more ram available.
I think that a board based on the pic32 PIC32MX250F128B would be a great replacement for the m328p based boards.
To me, this processor is what would be used if Arduino were starting all over again.
This part is also a 28 pin DIP so it works great for hobbyists and DIY projects.
There are many advantages of this part over the 328p
A few of the biggest ones being faster, lots more flash and ram, 3v with 5v tolerant inputs, and no more AVR PROGMEM crap to deal with. const works like it should.
Given that it is basically the same cost as a m328p I see little reason to continue on with the 328p.
Here are some more of the advantages of this pic32 part over the m328p AVR:
- const "just works" vs having to use the AVR proprietary progmem support
- 32 bit vs 8 bit
- 40mhz vs 16mhz (typical values not the absolute max possible on each)
- 128k flash vs 32k
- 32k ram vs 2k
- DMA capability
- native USB support
- 2 uarts vs 1
- 2 spi vs 1
- 2 i2c vs 1
- 3v with 5v tolerant inputs
About the only big downside to using many of the newer processors including the pi32 over the AVR is that that output drive capability of the pins is significantly lower. While this can be deal breaker for some applications like driving LEDs, for many applications the additional and faster resources are more than worth the price of losing that capability.
My strategy would be to eliminate production of m328p boards, along with releasing a pic32 DIP based board.
There are other AVR based boards for those that still want the AVR.
The clone market beats the crap out of the margins anyway for the m328p boards and a new pic32 DIP based board could open up and new markets with higher margins than the existing m328p boards can offer.
Then, over time, start to phase out the other AVR based products based on shipping volumes.
Eventually moving everything over to the better micro-controllers and leave the 8 bit AVR world behind.