How to select a right microcontroller for a project?

Microcontrollers perform a specific task and with so many options available in the market, it gets difficult to select a  microcontroller to implement in your project. But before that, let us first get to know what microcontrollers are and why they are used. 

What are microcontrollers?

A microcontroller (sometimes called an MCU or Microcontroller Unit) is a single Integrated Circuit (IC) that is typically used for a specific application and designed to implement certain tasks. Products and devices that must be automatically controlled in certain situations, like appliances, power tools, automobile engine control systems, and computers are great examples to name some. 

Microcontrollers are everywhere, they are used in computer keyboards, monitors, printers, telephone systems, also in home appliances like microwave ovens, washers, security systems and in medical instruments like the ECG machine to name a few.  

Choosing a microcontroller

how to select a microcontroller for your project?

There are thousands of different types of microcontrollers, each of them with a unique feature and computational capability and because they serve a particular purpose, with so many options available in the market choosing the right microcontroller can be a tricky task. So, here are some of the factors you should consider while choosing one.

Architecture of the project for which the microcontroller has to be selected

First of all,you  need to know the hardware architecture of the project well. 

Make a Block Diagram of all the sections needed to attain the required functionality of the project. Make a note of how many input/output ports are required. Make a special note of the communication interfaces and Number of Analog Pins.

After the hardware requirements it’s time to know about the software architecture and requirements as they greatly affect the choice of your microcontroller. You need to know about the processing speed, processing power, computational power etc. Make sure you take a note of any specific requirements like if any of the algorithms demands special computational power or if there is a requirement of high-frequency peripherals. This is the first step while selecting a microcontroller.

Memory Requirement of the project

According to the requirement of the project, it is important to select an apt microcontroller. This is important as we don’t want to run out of spaces for any variables or programs. Flash, RAM, ROM, EEPROM are some of the components of memory on microcontrollers. Note the memory size requirement of the peripherals such as display and make sure your selected microcontroller would fulfill it.

select a microcontroller with required Bit Size

Microcontrollers come in 8bits, 16bits, 32bits and 64bits. One of the key implications of the bit size is the memory capacity of an MCU, higher the bit size, more the number of unique memory locations. It is very important for the bit size to match the data to be processed. Keep this in mind while selecting a microcontroller.

bom Cost of targetted product also affects the selection of the microcontroller

Cost is a major factor to be considered for a project. If your project includes complex functions and operations, the cost is going to be on the higher side, but if it does not, it requires a basic microcontroller and the total cost of the project also comes down. 

Power Requirements of the end solution

This parameter can be a tricky one, as you should keep the power consumption as low as possible. There is a trade-off between the performance and power consumption, microcontrollers with higher processing power will consume more energy. So, according to the needs of the project a suitable microcontroller should be selected that can perform maximum tasks with the least energy consumption. 

Ultra-low power applications generally spend the most time in the lowest power mode or in sleep mode, and wake up to perform a task  and then quickly re-enter the lowest power mode.

Therefore, it is extremely important to select an MCU with ultra-low power consumption and the fastest wake-up time.

Support for a particular selected microcontroller

It is important to choose a microcontroller that has supporting documents and a good community support. Also, make sure to select one with a good development kit, so that you can easily start working on building your prototype. All these are important so that you can get instant help when you’re stuck at any point. 

These are the general parameters required to choose a microcontroller as microcontroller is the most important building block of an IoT  Solution, so one should be very careful while selecting it.

Also know, How does IoT Development Lifecycle work?

What we do at PsiBorg,

Our team of electronics design engineers, embedded engineers, and software developers diligently brainstorm and architect the best possible solution with the optimal combination of hardware and software to make every project a success story. Starting from the initial point of choosing the right Microcontroller, sensors and other electronic components , We move forward with the up to date technologies which complements the project best, we provide our clients with the most effective result oriented IoT solutions.

how to select a microcontroller for your project?

There are thousands of different types of microcontrollers, each of them with a unique feature and computational capability and because they serve a particular purpose, with so many options available in the market choosing the right one can be a tricky task. So, here are some of the factors you should consider while choosing one.

Architecture of the project for which the microcontroller has to be selected

First of all,you  need to know the hardware architecture of the project well. 

Make a Block Diagram of all the sections needed to attain the required functionality of the project. Make a note of how many input/output ports are required. Make a special note of the communication interfaces and Number of Analog Pins.

After the hardware requirements it’s time to know about the software architecture and requirements as they greatly affect the choice of your microcontroller. You need to know about the processing speed, processing power, computational power etc. Make sure you take a note of any specific requirements like if any of the algorithms demands special computational power or if there is a requirement of high-frequency peripherals. This is the first step while selecting a microcontroller.

Memory Requirement of the project

According to the requirement of the project, it is important to select an apt microcontroller. This is important as we don’t want to run out of spaces for any variables or programs. Flash, RAM, ROM, EEPROM are some of the components of memory on microcontrollers. Note the memory size requirement of the peripherals such as display and make sure your selected microcontroller would fulfill it.

Bit Size of the selected microcontroller required

Microcontrollers come in 8bits, 16bits, 32bits and 64bits. One of the key implications of the bit size is the memory capacity of an MCU, higher the bit size, more the number of unique memory locations. It is very important for the bit size to match the data to be processed. Keep this in mind while selecting a microcontroller.

bom Cost of targetted product also affects the selection of the microcontroller

Cost is a major factor to be considered for a project. If your project includes complex functions and operations, the cost is going to be on the higher side, but if it does not, it requires a basic microcontroller and the total cost of the project also comes down. 

Power Requirements of the end solution

This parameter can be a tricky one, as you should keep the power consumption as low as possible. There is a trade-off between the performance and power consumption, microcontrollers with higher processing power will consume more energy. So, according to the needs of the project a suitable microcontroller should be selected that can perform maximum tasks with the least energy consumption. 

Ultra-low power applications generally spend the most time in the lowest power mode or in sleep mode, and wake up to perform a task  and then quickly re-enter the lowest power mode.

Therefore, it is extremely important to select an MCU with ultra-low power consumption and the fastest wake-up time.

select a microcontroller with strong support and documentation

It is important to choose a microcontroller that has supporting documents and a good community support. Also, make sure to select one with a good development kit, so that you can easily start working on building your prototype. All these are important so that you can get instant help when you’re stuck at any point. 

These are the general parameters required to choose a microcontroller as microcontroller is the most important building block of an IoT  Solution, so one should be very careful while selecting it.

Also know, How does IoT Development Lifecycle work?

What we do at PsiBorg,

Our team of electronics design engineers, embedded engineers, and software developers diligently brainstorm and architect the best possible solution with the optimal combination of hardware and software to make every project a success story. Starting from the initial point of choosing the right Microcontroller, sensors and other electronic components , We move forward with the up to date technologies which complements the project best, we provide our clients with the most effective result oriented IoT solutions.

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