Microchip has done a fairly good job providing chips for the 8-bit microcontroller market, but they have had some mis-steps recently. They were also "late to the party" in 32-bit. They eventually acquired MIPs, but only long after others had joined the ARM bandwagon.
Microchip's PIC line should have been the processor in Arduinos, a domain that ATMEL owns totally. And while some may think that Arduinos are toys, a huge number of products that are in existence today started with a $30 (or so) Arduino hacked together with sensors. Companies then took those 'kludges' and put them on one board to make a final product. Most 3-D printers and quadcopter controllers are simply Arduinos with "shields" (add-on boards) merged into one board. And when those ATMEL processors are not powerful enough, designers have usually turned to 32-bit STMicro parts. Now, there are huge libraries of routines ATMEL parts, and a rising number for STMicro parts.
Those routines were written by individuals. No company could ever provide as much (usually) working source code as millions of users. Microchip has tried, but has not been very successful in fostering a very large community of developers that share code for its chips.
I do use Microchip parts currently. But I'm going to have to change soon for most of my designs. I'm writing too much code by myself. I need to use parts that can use easily-obtainable, open source routines for nearly anything I want to do. Hello Atmel! Hello STMicro!
Microchip definitely is on buysing spree and they really have a clear analysis behind every acquisition. The consumer and IoT are going to grow much more bigger in future and surely Microchip will play a key role.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole3 comments Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...