8bit AVR to Receive Boost by Microchip Following Acquisition
According to Lucio Di Jasio, Microchip’s strategic marketing manager for 8bit MCUs, nothing bad is going to happen to Atmel’s 8bit microcontrollers now that Microchip has acquired the company. With a new generation of AVRs coming in the summer there should be no reservations or doubts about the 8bit AVR’s future. Di Jasio openly gushed about his longstanding admiration for the AVR architecture ever since it exploded on the scene back in 1997. Di Jasio also marvels at how far it has come along since the first PIC was introduced back in 1976 and how over two decades of architectural innovations have brought along advantages and advancements in its development.
Di Jasio has also revealed that the 8bit AVR and 8bit PIC design teams have gotten along swimmingly since the merger following the acquisition of AVR. It’s as if two twins that were separated at birth finally happen to meet each other at a college frat party. In other words, it’s a match made in heaven. While the Atmel 8bit guys have been focusing on a Cortex-based 32bit parts, the guys in Microchip 8bit division were feverishly working on continuing to develop 8bit with the purpose of consistency. Di Jasio believes that the work on 32bit Cortex devices will come to represent an important expansion and diversification of Microchip’s overall portfolio. Microchip introduced its F1 PICs five years with Core Independent Peripherals that can be set up to co-op while the processing core sleeps to conserve energy or concentrates on running other tasks.
Atmel on the other hand has what it calls an Event System which is a mechanism through which peripherals communicate and through which peripheral modifications can be applied. Di Jasio says Microchip has big plans to put the development of core-independent peripherals into very large chips with a lot of pins down to the Tiny and Mega ranges. A challenge that has come up is merging the vocabulary of the two companies so customers of both can easily understand. Another challenge for the merger was concerns on alienating users by unifying the two previously competing architectures. For now though the two companies are learning to work together and present their established customer base with options and ingenuity.
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