1) Specify the basics
For example: You want a cheap ARM processor, at least 300MHz with DDR3 interface
2) Answer this question: Which is the most unusual peripheral I need?
For example: HDMI interface
3) Go to a supplier website and do the search
For example: http://www.digikey.com -> Product Index > Integrated Circuits (ICs) > Embedded – Microcontrollers
4) Select the unusual peripheral: Peripherals -> HDMI
5) Order Ascending by price for 1000 pieces
If you don’t have any special peripheral, search for:
Processor core: ARM
Speed: at least 300MHz
Industrial temperature: at least -40C
6) Check datasheet & manufacturer website
7) Select the processor most suitable for your application.
Be careful about
- In stock checkbox – this can eliminate the cheapest variants from the list, so the results will not be accurate. On the other site, be sure, you can buy the component you finally choose.
- Category selection e.g. Processor / Microcontroller. Suppliers sometimes mix these chips together, look in both categories.
- Hardware development support – be sure, the selected chip has free reference schematics with PCB and available development kits in reasonable price
- Software support – be sure, the selected chip has a good software support with code examples. Additional software development can cause delays or increase cost significantly.
- Good documentation is advantage.
- Community support is plus.