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10 steps to selecting a microcontroller

Step 4: Identify Memory Needs
Flash and RAM are two very critical components of any microcontrollers. Making sure that you don’t run out of program space or variable space is undoubtedly of highest priority. It is far easier to select a part with too much of these features than not enough. Getting to the end of a design and discovering that you need 110% or that features need to be cut just isn’t going to fly. After all, you can always start with more and then later move to a more constrained part within the same chip family. Using the software architecture and the communication peripherals included in the application, an engineer can estimate how much flash and RAM will be required for the application. Don’t forget to leave room for feature creep and the next versions! It will save many headaches in the future.

selecting a microcontroller

Step 5: Start searching for microcontrollers
Now that there is a better idea of what the required features of the microcontroller will be the search can begin! One place that can be a good place to start is with a microcontroller supplier such as Arrow, Avnet, Future Electronics or similar. Talk with an FAE about your application and requirements and often times they can direct you to a new part that is cutting edge and meets the requirements. Just keep in mind that they might have pressure on them at that time to push a certain family of microcontrollers!


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