July 11, 2012 -- Today's 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) designs integrate a wide variety of standard peripherals, such as analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital-to-analog converters (DACs), universal synchronous/ asynchronous transmitters (USARTs) and timers. While this peripheral integration is intended to address a wide range of general-purpose applications, embedded developers commonly consider these on-chip peripherals to be "check box" items, and the implementation of this peripheral integration usually ends up providing limited value.
In addition, the lack of smart interconnectivity among peripherals often forces designers to add significant amounts of glue logic to ensure proper use of the MCU's features, resulting in unnecessary incremental development costs and system complexity.
Standard MCU peripherals are intended to support a broad range of general-purpose embedded applications. However, peripherals often are integrated into 32-bit MCU designs with little or no thought about how they can enable a more cost-effective or simpler application implementation.
Let's take a closer look at implementations of standard MCU peripherals that provide system-level value and application benefits that help designers get the most out of every feature in the MCU while simultaneously reducing the bill of materials (BoM) and simplifying the embedded design.
By Pedro Pachuca and Tom David. (David is a principal design engineer for Silicon Laboratories, Inc.'s MCU products and Pachuca manages the global microcontroller interface product business.)
This brief introduction has been excerpted from the original copyrighted article.
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