Microcontrollers are available with an array of sizes, clock speeds, and peripheral options. The projects using them are almost as varied. A simple battery powered application might have a single output, two user pushbuttons, LED’s, or a sensor with 2 dozen lines of code. Complex designs can involve an OS, communication stacks, boot loaders, remote update protocols, and networked peripherals. An FPGA based design may use a small micro for power sequencing and configuration updates.


Specialty Microcontrollers:

  • The Nordic nRF51822 combines a Bluetooth Low Energy BLTE transceiver with a Cortex M0 microcontroller for use in small, battery powered wireless devices.


Small Micros:

  • MC9S08 and ATtiny microcontrollers often fit the requirements when only only a few hundred or thousand bytes of code and a couple of I/O are required.


Medium Microcontrollers:

  • ST Micro STM32 Cortex M0, M3, and M4 processors have been used in designs for BLDC servos, instrumentation systems, and industrial controllers.
  • Freescale NXP Qualcomm Kinetis K, L, and M series microcontrollers using M0 and M4 processors have been used for data acquisition and FPGA supervisor applications.


Large Microcontrollers:

  • Freescale NXP Qualcomm i.MX6 – Intended for multi-media applications, this dual or quad ARM Cortex-A9 (same pinout) processor was used for a video application using its 3 GPUu’s, 64 bit DDR3, PCIe, two USB 2.0 PHY’s, RGMII, SATA, HDMI 1.4 output, parallel display peripherals.
  • Mindspeed T2200 – two dual core Cortex A9 processors power this wireless network SoC.