The ARM architecture’s market leadership in 32-bit embedded RISC cores is reverberating through the world of standard microcontrollers. It’s the odds-on favorite to earn the title of de facto standard for 32-bit microcontrollers in the same way the venerable 8051 architecture monopolizes 8-bit microarchitecture designs.

Performance-hungry applications and embedded functions such as soft modems are one reason for designers’ interest in migrating to 32-bits. But the biggest drivers are the challenges the 8-bit microcontroller world has created for itself through its own evolution.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 2, No. 2