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beginner for microcontroller

Discussion in 'Microcontrollers, Programming and IoT' started by vead, Mar 27, 2012.

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  1. vead


    Nov 27, 2011

    i just begin to start microcontroller based program
    theoretically i know something not more about microcontroller
    now i want to make microcontroller based project

    what kind of microcontroller is use pic, avr
    what is difference between them
  2. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
  3. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    From a beginner's perspectve the differences between different types of microcontroller are not obvious and probably irrelevant. They will become relevant later once you dive deeper into the innards of the µC or if you require special functions.
    For starters I's recommend you buy a ready made evaluation board (eval board) which is available for most current µCs. This minimizes your risk because the hardware is ready and tested. You should look out for a kit which comes with software support. At least a PC based programming environment (IDE) and a programmer or download ionterface from the PC to the eval board.
    These boards come on sizes as small as a USB stick or big as a motherboard. If your project includes more than just a blinking LED, look out for boards hwich allow you to access the port pins of the µC so you can control other hardware.

    Personally I have made good experience with ATMEL AVR controllers and the STK500 eval board (which today is a bit outdated, I admit). The IDE comes free from ATMEL and even includes a simulator. I added the free WINAVR as plugin to the IDE so I could write my programs in C, not Assembler.
    Support comes from quite a few internet sites.

    However, you will find a large fan group of the PIC µCs on the internet, too. Maybe even more than for the AVR - I don't dare to judge.

  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    I think the main difference between PIC and AVR is that people tend to love one or the other. And it's pretty random as to which way it will be.

    Both are great, and both have extensive (and for the most part free) support software. Even the hardware required to program them is available pretty cheap.
  5. OLIVE2222


    Oct 2, 2011
    Hi Vead,

    Here under few considerations about.

    The main decision elements are:

    software side
    Atmel offer a free programming environment, AVRSTUDIO and a free C compiler.This set is compatible with all they 8 bits uC familly.

    Microchip offer free programming environment, MPLAB with a free limited C compiler. This set is family depending, each familly as is own compiler.

    Independent compiler are also available, here a range of C, Pascal and Basic compiler for both Atmel and Microchip.

    Here a basic compiler for Atmel (2K code size version is free)

    Here a basic compiler for Microchip

    hardware side
    Olimex made boards for both. They have a wide range of good value for money products. available at Mouser and Farnell

    Futurlec also have few good value for money products.

    and again.

    Programming tools
    both brand offer cheap in situ programming pods and many clones are available on ebay, exemples:

    Popular products

    Arduino is a very popular open source of project based on Atmel product. He combine a programming environment and very flexible harware platform. just google it.

    PICAXE is a popular commercial product based on Microchip uC. It use Basic language in place of C what can make a shorter learning curve. The Basic is included in the chip itself. The code is interpreded not compiled so. Mean that you must bought a new PICAXE chip for each project, not a blank standard one.

    Both brand can offer you almost any componants they will fit your needs. A good choice to start is a uC including all standards peripheral (ADC, PWM...) and an uart to ease the debugging (and programming if you use a bootloader).
    You can narrow down your choise with the ATMEGA8 or 88 for Atmel and PIC16F876 for Microchip.

    Another thinks to take into account it's the guidance and the tools you can find around you.

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