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'[EE]: Lowest cost microcontroller'
2001\02\16@053800 by Peter Tiang

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Anybody got any idea which single-chip
microcontroller is currently the lowest
priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(

I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.

I was told that 80C51 variant can go down to
as low as US$0.60. Is this true ?

I've checked out some 4-bit uC, but was quoted
at least US$0.90.

Peter Tiang

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2001\02\16@064343 by WALSH, Scott

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Umm. Try NEC 78K/0S these are pretty cheap for the number/type of
peripherals you get.

SW.

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Tiang [spam_OUTpetertiangTakeThisOuTspamPD.JARING.MY]
Sent: 16 February 2001 10:38
To: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: [EE]: Lowest cost microcontroller


Anybody got any idea which single-chip
microcontroller is currently the lowest
priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(

I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.

I was told that 80C51 variant can go down to
as low as US$0.60. Is this true ?

I've checked out some 4-bit uC, but was quoted
at least US$0.90.

Peter Tiang

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2001\02\16@065218 by D Lloyd

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part 1 2224 bytes content-type:text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 (decoded quoted-printable)



Hi

We had Holtek in to show us some of their stuff and I seem to remember it
being considerably cheaper than Microchip......
Maybe they are worth checking out? I seem to remember they had some micros
for about 0.70 and that was a few years ago.

Dan



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Umm. Try NEC 78K/0S these are pretty cheap for the number/type of
peripherals you get.

SW.

{Original Message removed}
part 2 165 bytes content-type:application/octet-stream; (decode)

part 3 154 bytes
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2001\02\16@110158 by David VanHorn

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At 06:38 PM 2/16/01 +0800, Peter Tiang wrote:
>Anybody got any idea which single-chip
>microcontroller is currently the lowest
>priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
>
>I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
>on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
>programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.

Try the Zilog Z-8 variants. $0.50 and below
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2001\02\16@111652 by Brian Aase

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With no other restrictions (i.e. availability, support,
tools, minimum quantities, etc.) several Japanese
companies such as Toshiba, Fujitsu, et. al. make
mask-programmed 4-bit devices than can cost well
below 50 cents.  Trouble is, they are virtually impossible
to obtain anywhere else, darnit :-(
Brian Aase

At 06:38 PM 2/16/01 +0800, Peter Tiang wrote:
>Anybody got any idea which single-chip
>microcontroller is currently the lowest
>priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
>
>I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
>on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
>programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.

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2001\02\16@114042 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 06:38 PM 2/16/01 +0800, you wrote:
>Anybody got any idea which single-chip
>microcontroller is currently the lowest
>priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(

Since this is the PIC list, in 1998 (when things
were relatively slack) Microchip announced the

PIC16C505 in high volume 0.49 USD
PIC16CR54C "             0.40 USD

You may not be able to find those prices today, but
if you refer to their own press release it can't hurt.

You can find competitive parts from Zilog, Motorola,
NEC, and a host of relatively unknown Asian (except Japan)
companies for similar or less prices, if your volume
has plenty of zeros after it. Support and development
system ease-of-use and cost do vary.

Japanese 4-bit micros are not in this league IME,
at least in the relatively low 50,000 pc. quantities we were
looking for (generally that's the *minimum* order quantity).
More like double (but more features, pins etc.)

Best regards,
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2001\02\16@121424 by Tsvetan Usunov

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>Anybody got any idea which single-chip
>microcontroller is currently the lowest
>priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
>
>I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
>on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
>programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.
>
>I was told that 80C51 variant can go down to
>as low as US$0.60. Is this true ?
>
>I've checked out some 4-bit uC, but was quoted
>at least US$0.90.
>
>Peter Tiang

Pete,

For what quantity you are talking about?
The word "cheap" is very relative.
If you target to buy 100 pcs PIC16C54 a price of $1,50 is cheap enough.
If you target 100 000 pcs $0,50 is already expensive.

Anyway IIRC before a while there was such thread in Usenet groups and
somebody was posted that he works for big manufacturer of electronic toys
and they using 6502 derivate with 32+K ROM at $0,17 (in millions pcs).
This kind of info is not very informative though as you can't put this price
in your budget estimations until you reach those volumes ;)

Best regards
Tsvetan

P.S. BTW is there any other such service for web Usenet browsing as
Deja.com? There are a lot of Web based Usenet reades on the net but no one
so complete as Deja. I can't find any as good as them since Google shut them
down.
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2001\02\16@153938 by Djurre de Jong

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On Fri, 16 February 2001, Tsvetan Usunov wrote:

>
> >Anybody got any idea which single-chip
> >microcontroller is currently the lowest
> >priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
> >
> >I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
> >on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
> >programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.
> >
> >I was told that 80C51 variant can go down to
> >as low as US$0.60. Is this true ?
> >
> >I've checked out some 4-bit uC, but was quoted
> >at least US$0.90.
> >
> >Peter Tiang

Peter
You can check out Http://http://www.elcheapo.nl
They have got a service to search on te cheapest opportunitie (?) on the internet. Also in hardware.
great,
Djurre
>


Find the best deals on the web at AltaVista Shopping!
http://www.shopping.altavista.com

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2001\02\16@162141 by Russell McMahon

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> Anybody got any idea which single-chip
> microcontroller is currently the lowest
> priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
>
> I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
> on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
> programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.
>
> I was told that 80C51 variant can go down to
> as low as US$0.60. Is this true ?
>
> I've checked out some 4-bit uC, but was quoted
> at least US$0.90.

Zilog make some rather cheap processors. Reasonably capable and good
addressing modes.
One of the cheapest is their 86E02 from memory
A search using http://www.findchips.com put these at about $1 in 100's from eg
Digikey but I expect they would be MUCH cheaper somewhere.

The cheapest Philips are probably the LPC low pin count) 8051 variants. The
87LPC762 is probably the cheapest in this range.
www-us.semiconductors.philips.com/publications/content/file_473.html
Too dear :-(

Some of the TI MSP430 family are quite low cost.


Here's a National COP8 press release - not as cheap as you want but
interesting :-)
http://www.national.com/news/1996/9609/cop8sax.html


Hmmm - loks like its the Z8 out of this lot.



RM

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2001\02\16@172926 by Bob Blick

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> Anybody got any idea which single-chip
> microcontroller is currently the lowest
> priced. The PIC is not exactly cheap... :(
>
> I'm talking uC with at least 1/2k word of
> on-chip ROM, be it masked or one-time
> programmable, with at least couple bytes of RAM.

I think you are asking a question like "what is the length of a piece of
string".

You need to specify what yearly quantities. You did say that mask-rom is
OK, so you are probably talking >10000 units, but who knows..

-Bob

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2001\02\16@232419 by Peter Tiang

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Sorry, I should've mentioned in 10K quantity.

Also uC with RC or crystal oscillator is a factor,
because a crystal oscillator typically cost
about US$0.20

Anyway, I'll check out all the suggestions
from PICLISTer and report the result.

Thks, Peter

{Original Message removed}

2001\02\17@083247 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 12:24 PM 2/17/01 +0800, you wrote:
>Sorry, I should've mentioned in 10K quantity.
>
>Also uC with RC or crystal oscillator is a factor,
>because a crystal oscillator typically cost
>about US$0.20

You can use a ceramic resonator instead
of a crystal, which reduces the cost. Or an
LC will work instead of a crystal.

Best regards,
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2001\02\17@094935 by mike

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On Sat, 17 Feb 2001 12:24:52 +0800, you wrote:

>Sorry, I should've mentioned in 10K quantity.
>
>Also uC with RC or crystal oscillator is a factor,
>because a crystal oscillator typically cost
>about US$0.20
In which case the 12C508A or 16C505 won't be far off the cheapest,
especially if you need the calibrated RC accuracy (as opposed to an
external RC)

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2001\02\20@120522 by Peter Tiang

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   And the winner in the category of
   "Lowest-cost 8-bit OTP micrcontroller"
   is (so far)....

   Holtek's

       HT48R05A-1 (US$0.60)
       HT48R10A-1 (US$0.75)

   0.5k and 1k ROM respectively, with
   RC oscillator support (built-in RC for
   extra saving) and onboard low-voltage
   reset.

   This further saves on overall system cost
   of typ US$0.20 for crystal and US$0.25
   for reset IC.

FYI..
Peter Tiang

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2001\02\20@125548 by Richard Sloan

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I have been quoted from Taiwan for qty 10K of PIC16C57 (2K) clones at $0.60 USD

R.

 >>  And the winner in the category of
 >>      "Lowest-cost 8-bit OTP micrcontroller"
 >>      is (so far)....

 >>      Holtek's

 >>          HT48R05A-1 (US$0.60)
 >>          HT48R10A-1 (US$0.75)

 >>      0.5k and 1k ROM respectively, with
 >>      RC oscillator support (built-in RC for
 >>      extra saving) and onboard low-voltage
 >>      reset.

 >>      This further saves on overall system cost
 >>      of typ US$0.20 for crystal and US$0.25
 >>      for reset IC.

 >>  FYI..
 >>  Peter Tiang

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2001\02\20@131848 by Peter Tiang

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Clone ?
Would appreciate if you can provide the manufacturer's
name and contact... Thks, Peter


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To: <PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 1:52 AM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Lowest cost microcontroller


> I have been quoted from Taiwan for qty 10K of PIC16C57 (2K) clones at
$0.60 USD
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2001\02\20@221151 by Russell McMahon

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Did this include the Zilog Z8E02 - if so, they must be getting dearer :-)



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2001\02\20@222852 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 03:34 PM 2/21/01 +1300, you wrote:
>Did this include the Zilog Z8E02 - if so, they must be getting dearer :-)

How much is the mask charge on the Holtek units? Presumably this is
significant at 10,000 quantity.

Best regards,


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2001\02\20@224731 by David VanHorn

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At 03:34 PM 2/21/01 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:
>Did this include the Zilog Z8E02 - if so, they must be getting dearer :-)

Last time I got a volume quote on these, they were $0.49

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2001\02\21@010340 by Peter Tiang

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I requested for 10K one time order.
I will get the vendor to requote again.
Thks.. Peter

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Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2001 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [EE]: Lowest cost microcontroller


{Quote hidden}

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2001\02\21@010840 by Peter Tiang

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Hi,

   I was quoted >US$1 for 10k of the Zilog part,
   perhaps others can get a better quote.

   The Holtek parts is one-time programmable (OTP)
   so there's no masking charge. You'll have to
   factor in the programming cost when in
   mass production.

Cheers,
Peter Tiang

{Original Message removed}

2001\02\21@015924 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> >Did this include the Zilog Z8E02 - if so, they must be getting dearer :-)
>
> Last time I got a volume quote on these, they were $0.49
>

And the mask charge is zero :-)

RM

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2001\02\21@020933 by V sml

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Have you also cosider uC from winbound Taiwan?

Cheers, ling sm

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2001\02\21@073230 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:46 PM 2/21/01 +0800, you wrote:

>
>    The Holtek parts is one-time programmable (OTP)
>    so there's no masking charge. You'll have to
>    factor in the programming cost when in
>    mass production.

So it is! They refer to ROM even on the OTP units.

Impressive, and the instruction set is pretty
decent (well, relatively speaking), table
read and stuff like that, and a  fair number
of IO's plus an aux. 32kHz RTC oscillator, and
push-pull piezo driver. Doesn't have the drive
current of a PIC, of course.

http://www.holtek.com/pdf/uc/48r50a_1.PDF

Thanks.

Best regards,

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2001\02\21@085705 by Peter Tiang

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Winbond makes OTP 80C51 variants, the
last time we used them it was more than
US$1 and requires external crystal oscillator
and reset IC, which puts it beyond consideration.

{Original Message removed}

2001\02\21@100837 by Stephen B Webb

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> How much is the mask charge on the Holtek units? Presumably this is
> significant at 10,000 quantity.

Please excuse my ignorance:

What does "mask" mean?

-Steve

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2001\02\21@102539 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 10:09 AM 2/21/01 -0500, you wrote:

>What does "mask" mean?
>

Most of the microcontrollers used in high-volume products
are mask-programmed, one layer on the chip is customized
to the ROM pattern for the product. This makes them very
cheap in high volume. Microchip offers some of their
products with ROM as opposed to OTP (one-time programmable).

The name comes from the "tools" used to make semiconductor
chips, "masks" that are used to expose the wafers with
light to transfer the intricate patterns onto them.
A full set of masks to make a current generation chip
is very expensive, many many thousands of dollars.

The crossover point (where costs are equal) is supposed
to be around the 10,000 quantity, but I've found it
varies because there are many, many micros that are not
available at all as OTP (try getting a 1.5V micro, or
one that has an on-chip large LCD driver as OTP.. if
the exist at all they are crazy-expensive and therefore
unpopular and risky to use for production).

Anyway, because of the mask ROM the purchaser has to

1) buy a minimum quantity, which might be as low
  as 2,000 pieces, or as much as 50,000 (4-bit micros)

2) pay a mask charge of some thousands of dollars
  per ROM pattern (they waive it if the quantity is big)
  (each ROM pattern is a new mask charge)

3) wait some weeks for delivery

Note that if there is a problem in the firmware or if
the needs change, these chips are essentially garbage.

Best regards,

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2001\02\21@103521 by Peter Tiang

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For high volume production uC, normally
you can submit your firmware ROM image
to the manufacturer.

This is so that they will generate a
"mask" (for metallization, if I'm not mistaken)
to imprint the ROM content at the wafer fab stage.

What you get from the manufacturer are
uCs with your firmware that's already
"mask"-ROMmed.

Rgds.. Peter

{Original Message removed}

2001\02\21@151801 by steve

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face
> Microchip offers some of their
> products with ROM as opposed to OTP (one-time programmable).

I had a customer that was planning to go to mask with a PIC at
about the same time as I came over to ESC a couple of years
back. I had an interesting conversation with one of their fab guys
who made the point that although Microchip do them, they are the
first thing to have leadtimes go out when the fabs get busy. OTP is
the core business for Microchip (which isn't the case for most semi
companies) so it takes precedence.
There's a small cost penalty, but the factory programmed OTP has
a lot of other advantages over mask.


Steve.

======================================================
Steve Baldwin                Electronic Product Design
TLA Microsystems Ltd         Microcontroller Specialists
PO Box 15-680, New Lynn      http://www.tla.co.nz
Auckland, New Zealand        ph  +64 9 820-2221
email: TakeThisOuTsteveb.....spamTakeThisOuTtla.co.nz      fax +64 9 820-1929
======================================================

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2001\02\21@172735 by Russell McMahon

picon face
> The crossover point (where costs are equal) is supposed
> to be around the 10,000 quantity, but I've found it
> varies because there are many, many micros that are not
> available at all as OTP (try getting a 1.5V micro, or
> one that has an on-chip large LCD driver as OTP..


AFAIK (BIMBW) some of the TI MSP4xx devices are 1.5v operation and Flash.




RM

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2001\02\23@013012 by Peter Tiang

flavicon
face
Hi David,

   Can't find Z8E02 part on Zilog website,
   only Z86E02, so might be obsolete part.
   Or is it a typo error ?

   The new quote just in for a 10K order:

       Z86E02 (OTP)     US$0.90
       Z86C02 (mask)    US$0.75
       Z86L02 (mask)    US$0.75

   built-in power-on reset, low-voltage reset
   and RC oscillation.

   But it's still higher than Holtek's uC.

Rgds,
Peter Tiang

===============================================

{Original Message removed}

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