As technology advances, embedded control applications continue to reduce chip-count and demand microcontrollers with increased features to assist system-cost reduction. Since every embedded control application interfaces with the physical world, and the physical world is an analog process, it was inevitable that microcontrollers would include integrated analog acquisition capabilities. The first such integration of standard microcontroller and A/D converter occurred on Intel's 8022 in 1978. This opened the door to cost reduction of high volume applications that required analog inputs. The device fit well into applications that needed processing of analog data. But this chip, with its 8-bit CPU, could not perform in high-end applications requiring analog inputs, or in applications that had computationally demanding analog tasks. With the introduction of the MCS(R)-96 family of 16-bit microcontrollers in 1982, the combined CPU and A/D performance became available to greatly reduce the system cost of mid- and high-performance embedded control applications.
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