Obsolete IC Recirculation

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by nDever, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Hey Guys,

    What happens if I wanted to mass produce a device that requires obsolete ICs or other components? I am speaking especially of the 8088 that I have been working with. I could use a microcontroller, which at the moment, seems to be far from obsolescence, but I would rather not if possible. Is there no other alternative?
     
  2. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    This is what happens when you design devices out of your junk box. I've designed things that were supposed one-offs with what I could find in my stash or on the surplus market. Then get caught when I need to make more. :( Switch to a microcontroller that is likely to have a future.

    Ken
     
  3. doggiedoc

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2004
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    I would suggest gaging how many 8088's you can get your hands on and at what price. I did a quick google and found a few right off bat.

    How many do you think you'll need?
     
  4. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Initially, about fifty. I can't give an accurate approximation about what will happen in the future.
     
  5. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    There is one immutable fact. They are not making any more of them.
     
  6. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    As Papabravo already told you, they are not made anymore.
    The ones that are left will go up in price fast.

    Bertus
     
  7. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    Can you tell us what this device is meant to do. As a starter I do not think this will be very cost effective. The 8088 is quite expensive and so is the 8088 peripheral units.
     
  8. doggiedoc

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2004
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    I personally wouldn't base a design that requires that volume of an obsolete part.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  9. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    While they may be going away, I suspect there were so many made that you're safe for a while. Just my opinion.

    In rare cases a chip may be cranked up for production, but a 8088 doesn't seem a very likely candidate.
     
  10. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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  11. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    Or port your code over to a modern microcontroller. Can't imagine the 8088 doing something a modern device couldn't.
     
  12. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Well...wait a moment...out of curiosity, how much would you pay for a microcontroller programmed to simulate the 8088?
     
  13. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    I know that most of my posts may be strange; wanting to find certain obsolete integrated circuits and microprocessors and trying to build a direct memory access controller from gate logic (http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=49363).

    I know this is sounds silly but, to be honest, I would not want a microcontroller emulating the behavior of an 8088 in much the same way that a majority of people would not want a Van Gogh look-alike as opposed to the real article. I like microprocessors because of what they are (or were). Microcontrollers integrate most of the components in a MP circuit and while many consider these a hassle, I enjoy wiring the address and data bus, control signal logic, and writing in assembly code. In short I suppose, I like to go the "extra mile", the hard way, to achieve the results that I want in my projects and it disappoints me that older MPs are disappearing. I believe that with enough time and effort put into software development for MPs, we could eliminate the need for extremely high clock speeds and memory resources. Microcontrollers may have luxury of phenomenal simplicity and power but I prefer to utilize and maximize the potential of older processors before advancing to newer technology.
     
  14. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    eBay is full of old 8088 & Z80 relics, why not just buy one? You can get a IBM PC XT at some landfills.
    Old iron is disappearing because it serves no purpose anymore unless you need a slow running room heater.
     
  15. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    I'm afraid that you're ignoring the fact that the greatly increased parts count requirement of the really old-school microprocessors means a much lower mean time between failure compared to a microcontroller implementation.

    Now if you're in a learning mode, by all means go for the microprocessor implementation. It won't have a snowballs' chance in a really hot place of being commercially viable, but you'll learn a lot about the early MC architectures, and it'll be fun.

    One wouldn't want to try to emulate a microprocessor with a microcontroller. A microprocessor is the heart of a general purpose computer, where microcontrollers have historically been dedicated to specific tasks/functions, with all or nearly all of the required peripherals on board the IC.

    You have to view things like this as prospective tools to be used to accomplish the task(s) required of them. Generally nowadays, the lowest parts count to get the job done is the winning combination.
     
  16. blueroomelectronics

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    Jul 22, 2007
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  17. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
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    It seams to me. Like you prefer doing things like always have done them. Are you afraid of new technology:rolleyes:
    In your project how much RAM and ROM do you need. And what kind of peripheral units do you need. It could be interesting to know. Do not be shy, or afraid that someone will steal your idea. We only want to help. And I promise that nobody will giggle about your plans.
     
  18. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Thanks guys. No, I am not afraid of or dislike new technology; do not get me wrong, I built my current computer with "fresh-off-the-line" parts such as a Radeon 48xx (which probably isn't new anymore) series card and a Quad-Core (I would have decided to use the i7s but at the time, they were really new and I wanted to let them decrease in price first).

    I suppose that I become flustered with the way things advance. A 32GB Mac Pro? Why? What practical home user user would possibly need that much memory? I can understand that 3D designers and others in the design field could benefit from those specifications but there can be no one computer for everyone.

    Everything seems to be being "dumbed down" for lack of a better term. Languages such as Java, Lua, and Python are dominating while pioneers like C and assembly are used sparingly because they are too complex. It seems like everyone is out to do things the easiest possible way, rushing hardware and software through the development stage, resulting in products like software that usually require a large number of patches, bugfixes, and other "bandaids".

    Video games, which I always enjoyed, aren't the same either. Everyone is more pressed on graphical appeal than gameplay. If you want to experience the best possible graphics then just go outside. I use the graphics card that I use not so much for gaming but for future designing of my products.

    What I have been working on is a video game console; 8 or 16-bit machine.
     
  19. blueroomelectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 22, 2007
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    What was wrong with the Parallax Propellor in your older threads? There are many DIY game kits out there, some are even single IC.
    http://rossum.posterous.com/20131601

    The old Z80 just doesn't have the power to generate complex graphics without a dedicated video chip. The more powerful 68000 also needed some help, take a look at an Amiga or the popular C64 (6502 with some fancy (for the time) graphics chips)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOS_Technology_VIC-II

    Look here you can even buy a modern C64 from Commodore
    [​IMG]
    http://www.elektor.com/news/welcome-back-commodore-c64.1514707.lynkx
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  20. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    The Propeller will be my graphics chip to assist my processor although it could probably serve the entire purpose independently but I have the processor to do calculations and 8255 to handle I/O (controllers etc.). The Propeller in this design is solely for graphics. I could do advanced graphics (not 3D) maybe vector if I clock the CPU to the maximum.
     
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