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Advantages of 32-bit 48-96 Mhz microprocessors (such as in Arduino Due)


It seems Arduino Due   ( 32-bit, 84 Mhz, ARM-Cortex-M3-based SAM3X8E ) was released today.

In addition, clearly there is a myriad of processors in this category ( 32-bit / 48-96 Mhz / ARM ) as well as corresponding prototyping boards:

  • NXP LPC1768 / mBed
  • STM32 / Discovery
  • PIC32 / ChipKit
  • PIC32 / Parallax Propeller
  • LM4F120 / TI Launchpad
  • etc.


I am trying to understand the appeal of these "in-between" microprocessors, which to me appear to lie in between the low-end AVR/MSP430/etc. (pros: inexpensive, low-power, small-footprint) and the high-end ARM7/etc (pro: capable of far greater instructions per second).

In what situations or ways are 32-bit / 48-96 Mhz / ARM-based microprocessors a suitable choice? More specifically, I am wondering in what applications or in which parameters they would make for a superior choice during design, over both the low-end 8-bit microcontrollers or the the very high-end ARM7 processors.

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This is just my opinion, but the "in-between" microcontrollers have their place based on cost , ease of use and overall better functionality than the 8 bit but not as much as the ARM7. It depends on what you are trying to do and cost.

thank you,



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