Why not 16bit, as opposed to 8bit?

Why do most small kits run off an 8-bit micro-controller? Could you get more resolution in a waveform using a similar 16bit chip?

cause there is no similar 16 bit chip?

Would you not get twice the resolution out of a 16 bit PIC?

nope, youd get 256 tumes the resolution.

First, the resolution of the chip, the resolution of the internal rendering, and the resolution of the converter are three different things.

You could use a 32-bit microcontroller to compute audio internally at a 16-bit resolution, and output it as 8-bit PWM. You could use an 8-bit ATmega to compute audio at a 32-bit resolution and spit it to a 24-bit codec (though you won’t be able to do anything interesting). Most of the combinations do not make sense. It’s often easier to compute things with an internal resolution suitable to the internal add / multiply instructions - which often means the register width of the architecture.

The landscape of microcontrollers available in DIP packages (hence suitable for kits) is not very large:

  • Atmel’s 8-bitters.
  • Microchip’s 8-bit PIC and 16-bit dsPIC.
  • Parallax Propeller.
  • NXP LPC1100 32-bit Cortex M0.

I do not like Microchip’s offer because of the lack of well-packaged, free, open-source development tools. Same for the Parallax Propeller - propgcc is still in its infancy and the least thing I want is to deal with a buggy compiler. NXP LPC1100 is something I’d like to get into if I ever do another kit.

Wouldn’t it be possible to use SMD microcontroller and produce boards with premount microcontroller for those who don’t want to solder them on their own? Or are boards with premount SMD chip too expensive?

more bits dont neccesarily make it sound better - youtube some ppg, prophet vs, esq1, fairlight videos…y

quanty37: so I assume enough parts would have to be installed to allow the board to be booted so that the firmware can also be installed onto the chip (most people don’t want to bother with programming the chips, while it’s very easy to do). A crystal, a few bypassing caps, maybe a power supply, some connectors. Would it still be DIY? At this point, it wouldn’t be different from the people building their systems around dev boards (Maple mini & co, preenFM style).

This is not something I want to do anyway - spending a lot of energy working around problems to ultimately build something that is less desirable than an assembled product, and maybe also less desirable than a kit.

Yes, you’re right, I forgot the point with the programming since I program my chips myself.
@fcd72: A better resolution wouldn’t be the only/major benefit: Microcontroller with more bits often also provide more computational power (as do other 8bit SMD microcontroller as the Xmegas) which means more possibilities/less restrictions.

MSP430 ?
16-bit and I heard that it has “feeling” of 6502 family.

But there aren’t any non SMD versions with enough power as far as I see.

Yes, all DIP versions have a ridiculous amount of flash/RAM (best option: 16kb, 512 bytes).