Opinions re: MCU vendors

[crap! I meant to crosspost this here and s.e.d :< ]


I'm looking at a couple of different parts from Atmel
and TI for an upcoming design. I'd appreciate comments
(not *rants*) folks might have about both firms in terms
- quality of their products
- accuracy of their documentation
- ability to meet commitments
- responsiveness during the design process

I often have to approach vendors as a "one man shop" during
product development with production buys done by clients
*after* the design is finished. So, I usually can't carry
the clout that their buying power will (NDA's).

And, I tend to use devices in unusual ways :> So, I tend
to end up digging around in dark corners of implementations
uncovering things that they didn't expect (or *know*) would
ever occur. This is particularly important nowadays when
everything is spec'ed with "typical" numbers and damn few
"worst case" numbers ("Yikes! The power supply went into
current limit! I guess the *real* power consumption is
considerably more than the 'typ' figures you guys published...")

I.e., I don't want to waste time with firms that are either
slow to respond to *highly* technical inquiries (in the past,
I've had face-to-faces with the actual designers of many
components that I've "stetched" in unusual ways) or simply
brush them off thinking it's not worth their time/effort
(Motogorilla has lost *many* designs over the years on account
of this).