Since I started playing with this stuff I've only used AVR processors. However from what I've seen PICs are pretty popular too. I've been thinking about trying a PIC to broaden my horizons, but it looks like it would involve an outlay of around $100.
PICkit2 is around $35 and the cheapest controllers are 30 cents.
A PIC18 with more of memory etc. than you need can be had for around $3 to $4
The PICkit2 Starter Kit (DV164120) comes with a PICkit2, a PIC16F690 and a demo board that takes 8, 14 and 20 pin PIC's (plus cables) at $50,- for the kit. There are other PICkit2/demo board combinations at $50 as well.
There's a PIC18F Starter kit (USB Boot load, so no PICkit2) at $60,- which contains a PIC18F46J50
, an OLED display and a micro-SD slot (plus a card with code) which it can boot from as well.
So you don't need $100 (unless the remainder is for brain lube
So before I start spending money my wife doesn't think I need to,
Just bring it up the next time she's been shopping for shoes, clothes or make-up
what are the advantages of PICs? Is it more a preference, or do they offer features AVRs don't?
They do offer some features that AVR doesn't, question is if you need those.
All the crap about which is faster or has got more memory etc. is rubbish. If your program takes say 3kB, it matters nada if the controller has got 4kB or 64kB and if you build a line follower that move a frantic 10m/s even a lowly 1MIPS core will do 100 instructions for each 1mm it moves (If speed really was
an issue, there's always the XMOS 1.6GIPS chip).
I'd guess that around 99% of the users here has no need for extraordinary fast controllers and if they think they do, perhaps they should review and rewrite their code.
The quest for the highest speed controller is far more pronounced among amateurs than among professionals (where fast enough will do), so I view it more like a P'ing contest *my
/faster than yours*.
The sheer number of PICs is a little overwhelming so some opinions would help get me pointed in the right direction.
Yes, there's a whole lot of of PIC's and new ones arrive all the time - luckily, as that means better options all the time (Yay, there's a new PIC10 on the way
), but they have good product selectors.
Best way to go is to sit down with pen and paper.
Find out what memory size, peripherals etc. would be:
A) Absolutely needed
B) Nice to have
Then find the cheapest device that fits your demands, or perhaps get 3 different devices: small, medium and large.
As a rough sketch...
PIC10 and PIC12 are good for small projects and sub-circuits.
PIC16 have some members that are good for medium size use.
PIC18 series have devices that are good for very large projects.