The cliche "8 bits is dead" is dead. CPU/MCU shipments are exploding.
Are you writing code for an 8051?
If so, trust me, you're not a dinosaur.
There's a new study of the MCU market. The forecast is that 6.7 billion 4- and 8-bit MCUs will ship this year, up 6% over last year. Considering that so many feel 8 bits is dead that's pretty astonishing growth. Those parts are up 40% since 2009.
16-bit MCU shipments have almost doubled since 2009. And 32 bitters have gone up by a factor of four over the same period, though one wonders how many 32 MCUs really existed five years ago.
ARM's 2012 annual report indicates that some 26 billion cores were shipped last year. This number presumably includes the 19 billion 4-, 8-, 16-, 32-bit MCUs mentioned above.
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