How to choose correct microcontroller? Do I need an FPGA?

Thread Starter


Joined Sep 18, 2007
Hi Everyone,

For my system I want:

- A variety of I/O - Temperature readings, etc.
- A variety of serial I/O that I can use to send and receive data over a powerline carrier modem (separate board)
- Some memory for saving historical I/O data over time. Would only keep a months worth of data, weeks worth, and days worth.
- A processor (FPGA?) for using serial data, looking at historical data, Kalman Filters, and making decisions off this information, sending it back over serial out to powerline carrier modem.
- Obviously some on board ADC for I/O. 8 to 10 bit (too high?)

I have no clue about what the choices are out there. A friend of mine said maybe PIC or gumstix. No Clue. So I need everyone's help.

I figured I can take data every hour from about 3-5 I/O. Not sure how much resolution I need for temperature data.

Hopefully you guys can provide options and get this conversation going. Thank you.


Joined Apr 10, 2008
For a one-off, have a look at the arduino. Great way to get started with uCs.

Sounds like it should be good for your application. And cheap!

Something like 15 digital i/o, 5 ch of (i think 10 bit) ADC. PWM. Free published IP for serial communication. Lots of support.


Joined Sep 18, 2009
The Microchip PIC and Atmel AVR are good places to start as well as there is a lot of (free) resources out there to help get you started.