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It would be a massive undertaking to go over every single peripheral on these MCUs, but I’ll focus on the ones that all MCUs have in common, and point out fine-print “gotchas” that datasheets always seem to glance over.

Any microcontroller review or selection guide should include a discussion of the overall development environment and experience. These are the sorts of things I’ll be exploring while evaluating the software for the MCU architecture.

I mean, everyone knows the best microcontroller is the one you already know how to use.

No, wait — the best microcontroller is definitely the one that is easiest to prototype with.

Any cheaper, and you end up with 6- or 8-pin parts with only a few dozen bytes of RAM, no ADC, nor any peripherals other than a single timer and some GPIO.

Any more expensive, and the field completely opens up to an overwhelming number of parts — all with heavily-specialized peripherals and connectivity options.

A hobbyist who is uncomfortable with surface-mount soldering may be looking for a legacy DIP package that can be used with breadboards and solder protoboards.

Severity column represents the severity of the PMR at the time the APAR was opened.What I will do, however, is offer a ton of different recommendations for different users at the end. This microcontroller selection guide will have both qualitative and quantitative assessments. But these have an economies-of-scale effect; if we only have to produce five different MCU models, we’ll be able to make a lot more of each of them, driving down the price.Overall, I’ll be looking at a few different categories: Within a particular family, what is the range of core speed? How do different MCU families end up on that spectrum?Or maybe that has the lowest impact on BOM pricing? Some microcontroller families are huge — with hundreds of different models that you can select from to find the perfect MCU for your application.I can’t even decide on the criteria for the best microcontroller — let alone crown a winner. Some families are much smaller, which means you’re essentially going to pay for peripherals, memory, or features you don’t need.

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