Many applications, such as toys or low cost consumer electronics items, require the lowest cost microcontroller. Tracking down the cheapest microcontroller can be a challenge, because of the multitude of manufacturers. Small I/O limited microcontrollers can be expanded in I/O capability by interfacing them with a serial shift register, such as a 74HC595, which only costs $14 cents in moderate quantity. Some chips can be bought as dies and then can be directly wire bound to a PCB with an epoxy covering. This further reduces costs, because the chip package can contribute up to near 50% of the cost.
The best way to find electronic parts is to use our free Electronics Component Directory, where a myriad of electronics manufactures are listed.
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