In an earlier post, we offered a list of MCU families that manufacturers themselves considered their most popular by revenue or volume. We only invited manufacturers that were still in the MCU business – and not all of those invited participated – but the result was interesting nonetheless and generated some interesting comments. Here are the families that were included:
- Atmel 8-bit AVR
- Cypress Semiconductor PSoC 1 Programmable System-on-Chip
- Freescale Semiconductor Motorola MC6800
- Infineon Technologies TriCore (TCxxxx) MCU
- Microchip Technology PIC16 MCU
- Silicon Laboratories C8051F33x
- STMicroelectronics STM32
- Texas Instruments MSP430
Clearly, the list leaves out some notables like Renesas, for instance, which said it didn't want to confuse anyone by touting a most popular MCU that is no longer available – certainly a valid concern. Historic MCUs such as the Intel 8051 were not included because Intel closed that line of business years ago. Other questions arose, such as inclusion of the MC6800 MPU in an MCU list, but Freescale's inclusion of that general family in this list reflects how major MCU series descended directly from some early MPUs and are considered members of those general families.
Using this list, we asked readers which of these they felt were the most popular in a decidely non-scientific opinion poll – and one fraught with different interpretations. I view this as a simple snapshot of which families have managed to gain heightened visibility over the years – but we didn't ask in this quick poll if the perception corresponded to actual preference for that MCU family. Nonetheless, with the caveat that this is just a quick snapshot of perception of MCU popularity, we summarize the results of the poll below.
Figure. Responses to the question: “Which of the following MCU familes would you say is the most popular?”
To read more, go to “The other category.”