Hi friends, I hope you are fine and doing great. Previously I have written an article on embedded system programming that you can access here 8 things for learning Embedded System Programming. One of the important parts of an embedded system is a microcontroller, so choosing correct microcontroller for your embedded system is very necessary. Therefore, today I am going to tell you how you can select the best microcontroller for your application. In this article, I will be sharing all the details you need to know before finalizing your product.
So, if you are trying to choose the right Microcontroller for your project then you must be working on Embedded System Project, so you should read What is embedded Systems? and What is Embedded Computer. So, you should have a look at them as they are really interesting and covers the complete basics. After these articles, you should also have a look at Real Life Examples of Embedded Systems. So, before going into the details, let's first have a look at basics of Microcontroller.
Basics of Microcontroller
- Microcontroller is just like the CPU for your embedded system.
- It is different from microprocessors which require external peripherals. A microcontroller has all the peripherals on the main chip.
- counters, input and output ports on the single chip.
- External devices cannot be added on microcontroller, also extra memory cannot be added.
- Microcontrollers are suitable for embedded systems, as they are limited in size and cheap.
- Microcontrollers are suitable for applications which have limits on size and cost.
- Few examples of Microcontrollers are Arduino, PIC Microcontroller, 8051 Microcontroller etc.
- There are different families of microcontrollers which have different features. You can choose depending on the specifications you need.
- Microcontrollers are preferred in embedded systems because they have various advantages. Some of them are:
- Use more logic to carry functions
- Can perform diverse functions
- Minimum and controlled power consumption
Now that I have defined a microcontroller, I am moving towards the main section of this article. Here's a screen shot of Arduino board:
How to select Microcontroller ?
Selecting right microcontroller for your application is very important. There are several things to consider including technical features, cost and size. It is necessary that you should have an idea of your project details, requirements and constraints. First try making a rough idea of your project and problem statements and then you can follow these 10 steps.
1. Know Hardware RequirementsThe first thing to consider while choosing a microcontroller is to consider what hardware devices your project need. You must have an idea what hardware peripherals you need to connect with your microcontroller.
- Does your embedded system needs communication interfaces like UART?
- Does it needs Ethernet?
- How many output and input pins you need to connect?
- Does it needs USB port or other serial ports?
- Do you want PWM?
2. Know Software RequirementsJust as hardware of the project, you need to know the software required by your project. The software requirement is also important to consider.
- What processing speed is required?
- What type of calculations are involved?
- How much processing power is required?
- What are the timing constraints?