From: Howard Delman
Subject: Re: Examples Of Common MCU's In Consumer Electronics?
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 08:48:47 -0700
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Geraldo Sazias wrote:
> "Howard Delman" wrote in message
>>Geraldo Sazias wrote:
>>>Can someone cite some examples of 'common' (frequently used by
>>>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 of
>>>these MCU's in a million plus class consumer electronics device?
>>One reason that you are more familiar with PIC and AVR is that they are
>>actively marketed to hobbyists. The tools are cheap, and the parts can
>>be easily bought in low volumes. Most other manufacturers avoid this
>>market. I used a small 8 bit Mitsubishi MCU a couple of years ago, and
>>the development system was $6000. Not many hobbyists will ever see
>>these parts, but they were right for the application and the $6000 cost
>>was easily amortized over the first year's forecast of 100,000 units.
>>In the past five years, I've designed products with MCUs from Samsung,
>>Toshiba, ST, Philips, and Cypress. Most of these vendors won't even
>>talk to you unless you're looking at tens of thousands of parts a year.
>>Oh... None of these would have their "real" part numbers on them. They
>>would have a part number made up by my client.
> Cool. What kinds of products are we talking about, what prices and what
Toy airplane, coin operated video game, set top box, telephone test set,
network password generator. These parts ranged in price from less than
a dollar (Samsung in toy airplane) to around $5.00 (Cypress MCU w/ USB
in video game). I won't even try pricing a part for volumes less than
1K. The vendors would just ignore me. None of these projects turned
out to be huge, although the Samsung chip (KS57C2308 - 4 bit core, 8K
mask rom, drivers for alphanumeric lcd, 80 pin chip) is likely to hit
100K volume by the end of the year. This is not considered a big order
by Samsung. IIRC, it was quoted around a dollar. The development
system was around $3000. See my web page for more details.
BTW - I have priced PICs and AVRs for new designs, and have always found
them to be more expensive than comparable parts once volumes get high.
They are better in very low volumes. My guess is that they end up in
high volume products because engineers are used to them, and already
have the tools.
Digital design from conception to production