Advantages over 8-bit and 16-bit processors for embedded solutions, according to ARM:
I'm fooling around with the lower power ARM chips on weekends, and they seem like a great option when you really want to shoehorn in a full operating system somewhere.
For other readers, AVR:
AVR OTOH has instructions which allow one to easily manipulate a stack, and since GCC targets AVR, you don't have to deal with Microchip's crappy compiler and can use whatever fun C constructs you wish and still get decent code.
I believe there is gcc support for the pic24/dsPIC (16bit) and the PIC32(32bit).
All that said last I knew Microchip still leads in 8bit mcu global market share.
If the economic benefits were so strong for those devices being connected that should have already happened.
What am I missing?
Many 8bit mcus end in places where their battery is expected to have a life time measured in years. Last I looked I think MicroChip is leading the way here in terms of sleep power. Their PIC XLP series only draws ~20nA while sleeping.
There is more competition in the 16bit space with the MSP430 from TI.
Economist Ha-Joon Chang discusses that's how powerful nations develop. The entrepreneurial Japanese government's first forays into the auto industry were failures, but of course they kept at it, learning from failure. That's the nature of investment, as any HN reader should know.
It's not down to lack of money - but the way it has been spent.
Of course, when it's private venture capital that's behind this, people don't seem to complain as much.
Not that I'm against public funding of research - I'm absolutely not. But my experiences of public sector research funding on "large" projects completely put me off working in that sector (so much so that I left academia to co-found a start-up).
I've worked on publicly funded projects and in the private sector. The publicly funded projects were the worst for pointless reporting, accounting, and paperwork.
In the private sector, the boss pops his head in and asks what I've done to day and what I'll finish by the end of the week, and we adjust goals. It takes about 5 minutes a week to do this.
When I was working on a publicly funded project, there was a report to be filed every day that took an hour of my time to do, a report to be filed every week that took about three hours over the course of the week, meeting with management to make sure that the first two reports were complete, accurate, and not fudged which took an additional two hours a week, and an end of the month assessment for both spending and time clocked in that took about twelve hours over the course of a month.
So guess where I'm more productive.
There have been some legendary turkeys over the last ten years, but for every pets.com or hairdryersbyemail.com there's dozens of others so misguided you never heard a thing, they just went nowhere fast.
That's because private venture capital is people spending their own money, rather than other people's money.
Sometimes the government picking a loser can still cause a market to expand.
The government always picks the losing team. The winning team doesn't want anything to do with the government.
It's even on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leyland-MCW_Olympic
"The Olympic was popular in Montevideo, with 240 entering service in the 1950s and 1960s. 50 of these were new to the Montevideo local authority, most of which passed to major independent and the other customer CUTCSA on privatisation. Some of the 240 were still in use as late as 2001 including a 1951 EL40 in use as a driver trainer."
Edit: kind-of-answered simultaneously here http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3698064 while I was writing the question :)
"they picked one winner - Leyland - and force-merged them with all the losers"
Acorn were also almost overlooked in favour of a company called Grundy, which had government backing, but inferior technology.
I did quite a bit of real paying work on BBC Micros back in the day, and think they were great - but reading the way people tell the story today, one would be given the impression that the NewBrain was some kind of grim socialist piece of junk. It was actually a pretty decent bit of kit, quite a bit better quality than many of the other micros on the UK market at the time.
In an ironic turn, the company I worked for doing the BBC stuff later moved into Grundy's old premises in Teddington after they went bust.
ARM's model, of course, is absolutely the future of semiconductor design. But it's not going to bring an Intel-sized industry to the UK.
Disclaimer: I might be completely wrong about the above!
"If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain"
ARM only employs ~2000 people, not all of whom are in the UK. That's hardly a mass employer like the manufacturing sector is.
1. According to ARM's promotional materials. No corroboration from licensors, as far as I'm aware.
2. Without caches. If you look at those pretty pictures of Intel chips, those huge swatches of regular rectangular stuff are caches, and they take up space.
Why not just use nuclear to produce abundant energy?
The post I was responding to was specifically calling for it to be government controlled.
I'm a bit surprised this hasn't been done before.
Can this chip be solar powered (I mean, obviously, with a small solar cell)?
It kind of has been. This is not the first tiny low-power microprocessor out there -- it's just that ARM keeps pushing the envelope. The last "most power-efficient tiny 32-bit cpu" was Cortex-M0, of which this one is an evolutionary improvement.
Most of the embedded industry is still using really simple 8 or 16 bit microcontrollers. The business stragegy of ARM in the space is to push more advanced and complex cpus down to the space and grab marketshare by providing chips that are easier to program. It also helps that the size of the chip itself is a complete non-issue (the article referred to 1mm², while in reality the area for the core itself is actually less than 0.01mm² on a 40G process), and ARM can sell code density because they have more powerful instructions than the typical microcontroller, so while their cpu is bigger, the memory it needs is smaller.
I guess it's more cost effective than draw the wires a few kilometers from the city.
EDIT: sth like that http://www.google.pl/imgres?q=%C5%9Bwiat%C5%82a+baterie+slon...
On the other hand, having autonomous off-the-grid parking meters might be easier to install and maintain by a third party. Plus it allows you to start growing parking meters everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere. Let them pay!
Sure, but not having to dig additional holes in the ground is a huge cost saver.
Arizona-headquartered Microchip Technology designs and builds a rival range of 32-bit "Pic" microcontroller, while California-based Atmel offers 32-bit "Avr" products.
The Microchip website gives 404 errors when I try to read their press release http://www.microchip.com/pagehandler/en-us/press-release/mic... - not really a good sign, hard to verify any claims.
The Atmel TinyAVR devices are small (2mmx2mm) but appear only to be 8-bit and aren't really comparable to the Arm offering.
Atmel also offer 32 bit uCs in the form of AVR32 and ARM based parts.
>Hardware single-cycle (32x32) multiply option
Does that mean their hardware can multiply 32-bit by 32-bit
numbers in a single clock cycle?? I took a computer organization course where I implemented a simple hardware multiplier and it took a lot more cycles than that, so I was curious.
BTW, most FPGAs have HW multiplier prebuilt block, because you will loose lots of flip-flops or LUTs (or both) implementing one yourself.
There are tiny packages though, NXP (one of the ARM builders) has a 2mm x 2mm package with a similar ARM in it, but they can only get 16 pins out at that scale, 4 are power and ground, one is clock leaving you 11 pins to rule the world. (data sheet: http://www.nxp.com/documents/data_sheet/LPC1102.pdf)
How many people keep multiple chargers at the different places (home/office) they are, or even take one with them ALL the time, just so they don't get left stranded. All this is fixed if the machine has a longer cycle than you do, over a typical 1-2 day cycle. Then you can pick the most convenient time to charge up from 20 or 40 or 60 percent or wherever it's at by then, you can work on it it at a cafe without plugging it in after working somewhere else you couldn't plug it in the night before, or go away for the weekend with it without any charger at all, if you know you're back in the ofice Monday and are sure to use it less than that.
In the meantime you don't worry, you aren't inconvenienced.
You do need years of battery life. Not by improving the capacity of batteries, but by improving the rate at which energy is drawn from them.
As the article quotes:
"Every developed nation country has a graph showing electricity demand is going to outstrip supply at some point in the next 20 years unless we do something different,"
You are inconvenienced, just not in the manner you highlight.
Think about something more like a toaster or a temperature sensor.