Microcontroller architectures are evolving into full-fledged systems-on-chip (SoCs). While this puts many features at a designer’s disposal, it also ups the ante with respect to complexity, particularly when it comes to software.

Yes, vendors are working hard to relieve the pressure on their customers and are providing software modules with their chips—including demos to ensure those chips meet the design specifications. However, those modules have some downsides, including quality control, testing, standardization and licensing limitations.

As a result, according to Kim Rowe, chief technology officer at Rowebots Inc., a specialist in embedded signal processing, “MCU users are getting dragged into the software implementation, at the same time they may not fully understand how to use software components to their advantage to reduce costs, save time and reduce risk."

"The intent [with this feature] is to educate them about the total costs over time so that they can make better decisions for their companies."

Toward the end, the feature shows why Rowe believes RoweBot’s DSPnano and Unison, "are clearly the best choices for an ultra tiny embedded Linux for MCUs and they will minimize cost, minimize risk and maximize profits."

What do you think? Let us know by contacting the editor at pmannion@techinsights.com.

Also, for your convenience, here’s a comparative table of recent MCU announcements.