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From: email@example.com (Bob Wilson)
Subject: Re: Examples Of Common MCU's In Consumer Electronics?
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 03:08:47 -0000
Organization: Your Organization
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In article <3D7E3452.E32B3C52@xympatico.ca>, firstname.lastname@example.org says...
>Geraldo Sazias wrote:
>> Can someone cite some examples of 'common' (frequently used by hobbyists)
>> MCU's (AVR,PIC and MSP430) being used in consumer and or mass produced
>> electronics? Whenever I open up some consumer electronics device it has
>> either an unknown MCU or one I can't identify at all (ussually bump
>> packaged directly onto the PCB). Is it even economically viable to use on
>> these MCU's in a million plus class consumer electronics device?
>Sure it is, if the price is right. Consider my $20 alkaline battery
>charger that I bought at Wal-Mart (I think). It has a PIC16C54 inside.
>The retailer paid $10. The distributor paid $7. The agent got $1 so the
>manufacturer got maybe $6. His cost of parts - maybe $1.50. Therefore
>the MCU was possibly around 50 cents. That gives a very rough ratio of
>40:1 for retail price:MCU cost. Of course this might vary widely
>depending on the product and the market, but it's a start.
>In my case, when one of my products first appeared (strictly low-volume)
>it sold for $150 retail and the MCU cost was $4 which gives a 50:1
>ratio. Now it is mature, a little outdated, and there is more
>competition so the retail price has dropped to around $100 (and I get
>correspondingly less). The MCU now costs $3, so the ratio is now 33:1
>If I could make (and sell) 1 million of these things the MCU cost might
>go down to $1 and the retail price might possibly be $40, but probably
>The moral of the story is that market conditions and competition can be
>stronger determinants of the selling price and resulting profit than the
>cost of parts. Find a niche and exploit it.
Any electronics in a car is a prime example of huge markups. The engine
management system in my car has a total parts cost of around $30 (at the OEM
cost level). Cost to replace it? $800. Similarly, turn signal flashers (the
electronic kind) can sell for up to $100 as official parts. They'd be lucky
to have $2.00 (OEM) in parts inside.
Another example is the Li-Ion battery we are using in a new product
(1100mA-H flat pack). It costs us $1.50 in volume. Similar batteries are
selling as replacements retail for $60.
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