Transistor count of common uCs?

Started by johannes m.r. May 10, 2004
Hello,

Nowadays one often hears/readers about the transistor count of modern
CPUs and GPUs. But what's the transistor count of common uCs like the
Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR or similar microcontrollers?
Just being curious :-)
Thank you in advance!
Regards,
johannes
> Nowadays one often hears/readers about the transistor count of modern > CPUs and GPUs. But what's the transistor count of common uCs like the > Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR or similar microcontrollers?
The complexity is usually not specified as the number of transistors but as number of gates, as a gate is the smallest entity of design languages like Verilog or VHDL (usually...). 32-bit microcontrollers use something like 50~100k gates, not counting any memory. I would guess that a PIC needs well below 10kG and the AVR a little bit more. But that is a very rough estimation. In the usual implementations a gate consists of four transistors on average, so you might multiply the above figures by four to get an approximate number of transistors. For SRAM you should add four to six transistors per bit, for Flash or ROM it is in the order of one transistor per bit. Btw, semiconductor companies calculate cost in mm*mm, at least as a first approximation for mature processes, not in number of transistors or gates. Michael

"johannes m.r." wrote:

> Hello, > > Nowadays one often hears/readers about the transistor count of modern > CPUs and GPUs. But what's the transistor count of common uCs like the > Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR or similar microcontrollers? > Just being curious :-) > Thank you in advance! > Regards, > johannes
The 8080 microprocessor back in 1975 had less than 5000 transistors whereas the 2.2 GHz Pentium IV using .13 micron technology had about 42 million and some graphics processors have considerably more (the ATI 9700 had about 110 million). High end processors today are pushing 500 million transistors and expected to hit 1 billion by 2005 to 2006. The transistor count has been growing by about 40% per year. In contrast, the RISC processor, PowerPC 401 has only about 85000 transistors. Microcontrollers are generally less complex than microprocessors and often have the RICS architecture (even though they do have more peripherals integrated onto the chip) so I would guess they fall in the 100,000 transistors range although I haven't seen actual numbers published. Ref: http://www.siliconstrategies.com/article/printableArticle.jhtml?articleID=10802738 Jerry -- -------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Jerry Petrey - Senior Principal Systems Engineer -- Navigation (GPS/INS), Guidance, & Control -- Raytheon Missile Systems - Member Team Ada & Team Forth -- NOTE: please remove <NOSPAM> in email address to reply --------------------------------------------------------------------

"Jerry Petrey @raytheon.com>" <"jdpetrey<NOSPAM> skrev i meddelandet
news:40A11B08.3C0DC036@raytheon.com...
> > > "johannes m.r." wrote: > > > Hello, > > > > Nowadays one often hears/readers about the transistor count of modern > > CPUs and GPUs. But what's the transistor count of common uCs like the > > Microchip PIC, Atmel AVR or similar microcontrollers? > > Just being curious :-) > > Thank you in advance! > > Regards, > > johannes > > The 8080 microprocessor back in 1975 had less than 5000 transistors
whereas
> the 2.2 GHz Pentium IV using .13 micron technology had about 42 million
and
> some graphics processors have considerably more (the ATI 9700 had about
110
> million). > High end processors today are pushing 500 million transistors and expected
to
> hit 1 billion by 2005 to 2006. The transistor count has been growing by
about
> 40% per year. > > In contrast, the RISC processor, PowerPC 401 has only about 85000
transistors.
> > Microcontrollers are generally less complex than microprocessors and often > have the RICS architecture (even though they do have more peripherals > integrated onto the chip) so I would guess they fall in the 100,000 > transistors range although I haven't seen actual numbers published. >
IIRC, The AVR core is 12,000 gates, and the megaAVR core is 20,000 gates Each gate is 4 transistors. The chip is considerably larger since the memory uses quite a lot. The ATmega128 is probably somewhere between 600k-1M transistors. For comparision: The AT91R40008 ARM7 micro is probably 2 M transistors. The ultimate CISC microprocessor, the NS32016 was but 60,000 transistors. -- Best Regards, Ulf Samuelsson ulf@a-t-m-e-l.com This is a personal view which may or may not be share by my Employer Atmel Nordic AB
> > IIRC, The AVR core is 12,000 gates, and the megaAVR core is 20,000 gates > Each gate is 4 transistors.
Interesting. Do these numbers include peripherals or are they just for the core CPU? Cheers, Jon