Electronics World | Year: 2012
Keith Curtis, technical staff engineer in the security, Microcontroller and Technology development division at Microchip Technology gives a practical guide to the considerations that have to be taken into account when choosing an MCU. Requirements such as operation in a harsh environment or the man-machine interface can be as vital as considering how fast the product has to respond to changes. The end result can be selection 'paralysis,' as an engineer weighs conflicting requirements and demands. Decisions must be made on how to multitask in the design and making the choice between using a real-time operating system (RTOS) and building a system out of interleaved state machines. The RTOS handles all of the switching between states and simplifies the software design, while a real-time-response system requires a smaller memory footprint and makes real-time response control easier to implement.