Friday, December 05, 2014

Microchip rumors and Mikroelektronika new products

UPDATED!
In a few years, Microchip will release all his compilers for free, giving his partners enough time to change their compiler businesses!

This rumor is already old and I bet not many of us tend to believe it but, looking at Mikroelektronika, you will see that their PIC compilers haven't been updated in a long time, and that they are switching slowly to other microcontroller brands.

The most recent boards are

  • STM32 M4 Clicker - 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 STM32F415RG MCU operating at up to 168 MHz, 1024 KB of Flash memory, and and 192 KB of SRAM
  • Clicker 2 STM32 - powered by an STM32F407VGT6, a 32-bit ARM® Cortex®-M4 MCU that operates at up to 168MHz, has 1MB of flash and 192+4KB of SRAM 
 TI Tiva™ C Series ARM Cortex-M4 devices are also well represented as another ARM alternative but, until now, it seems that STM32 are the favorites (reading on forums, you'll see that some of TIVA supported micros are no longer in production!).

And, if you are not convinced yet, Mikroelektronika just announced the new version of their ARM compilers with a host of new microcontrollers added.

Digging into Mikroe's forums you can see an announcement about a new ARM compiler for the FT90x microcontrollers
but reading further, you'll see a lot of customer complains that the old compilers are left behind, including the PIC32 compilers. Mikroe defend themselves saying that those are held back because of a lot of errata for MZ series - with other words, those MZ are not stable enough, with a lot of unsolved silicon errors.

It is obvious that Mikroe gets hurt by those poorly developed microcontrollers (doesn't matter the brand) and is seeking new ways of making profit. We can easily realize that 8051 and AVR solutions provide very low or no income at all so those products became neglected. Though, there are promises for an upgrade.

Hard times for anyone...

Well, the ARM microcontrollers are now on the wave and sooner or later we all will have to consider them, not matter how much we are into 5V microcontrollers. The problem is, which development toolchain can we trust to keep up with the wave? We can expect Mikroelektronika to change the price policies for their compilers any time soon if the hardware they produce provide little income?