It seems like we are at the beginning of a new wave of MCUs with higher level functions built-in. Wireless is another one. Networking MCUs with web page servers built-in, Analog sensors with support for specific standards is another. Look for more standards that allow MCUs to 'pull-in' higher level functions. What else are we going to do with all the 'extra' silicon anyway? More serial ports? I don't think so...
I agree -- we're seeing things I wouldn;t have believed only a couple of years ago. I LOVE the MCUs with wireless built in -- I've seen those being used by the folks at www.Synapse_wireless,com (they used them in the wireless mesh networked Propeller Beanies over at www.AllProgrammablePlanet.com
I saw one MCU recently with about 24 hardware PWMs, all sorts of analog, amazing amounts of communications (I2C, SPI, CAN, UART) ... and it was just an itty-bitty chip for use in "stuff"
Max- Motor Control is another great example. Some of the algorithms are fairly complex now so I would expect the next generation of Motor Control MCUs (and this is a BIG market) begin to include 'built-in' functions for the more common algorithms- either in ROM or via extensive libraries. Now that combined with wireless gives us a 3-rotor beanie on a single chip!
@DrFPGA: ...so I would expect the next generation of Motor Control MCUs (and this is a BIG market) begin to include 'built-in' functions for the more common algorithms- either in ROM or via extensive libraries.
Strange you should say that, I saw just such an MCU a couple of months ago -- I wrote something up on it -- I'll have to go back and try to find it.