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About a year ago, in an effort to reduce cost of my DMX decoders, I have started to look for an alternative to MSP430. One chip that really fit the bill was STM8S003K3. It has 1K RAM, it's fairly cheap, comes in package that is easier to solder than TSSOP, has 5V operating voltage (less parts and cheaper parts,) HF crystal oscillator, UART, and 4 channel timer. In addition, STM has few nice low cost DISCOVERY eval boards, some of them cost only $7. My initial work was halted for various reasons, but last week I have decided to resume and the software is almost done. However, not everything went as smooth as I have expected and after this whole experience with STM8, if I had to choose between TI and STM, I would definitely go with TI. Don't get me wrong, I will still use STM8S/L, but MSP430 will remain my #1 choice. And since I am feeling adventurous, I am thinking of finally diving into the world of Atmel, maybe rediscover Microchip. Next week, I will be working with Freescale's Kinetis.