A new Lease on Life for 8 Bit/16 Bit Microcontrollers
Many companies are quitting the 8 bit and 16 bit MCU business, because they think it is a declining market. In this scenario, companies who stayed back and invested money into 8 bit/16 bit MCUs research are poised to make a killing.
One well-known use is for power monitoring, especially on single phase integrated circuits. The discovery of new opportunities and niches like these has breathed new life into the business.
Moreover, on many of these chips, embedded developers no longer have to program analog functions. Companies have started pre-programming power management algorithms into the chip, making the task easier.
Other high performance appliances such as power meters, air conditioners, smart plugs, AC/DC power supplies, smart lighting and smart heating systems are also using these MCUs. For example, if you want to find out how much power a device is consuming (when active or during standby), you can install a smart meter with a dedicated 8 bit or 16 bit MCU. The smart meter will record the power consumption. Later, you can use this data to change your energy behavior. Some of these smart meters provide additional capabilities like power outage notifications and monitoring of power quality also.