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PICList Thread
'[OT] Atmel AVRs and ICE200'
1999\10\01@130336 by Nick Taylor

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I've recently ordered (but not yet received) the STK200 and a small
assortment of AVRs and am interested in hearing PIC users' perspective
on the Atmel chips.  Also would like more info about their ICE200.

Sorry about the [OT] post, but who better to comment on the AVRs
than PICsters?  If I ask on the AVR list I expect too many responses
from people who have an almost religious attachment to that line.

Thanks,
- Nick -

1999\10\01@131504 by Craig Lee

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How does one get on the AVR list.

I'd be very interested in evaluating their components due to the
huge flash capability.

Craig

> {Original Message removed}

1999\10\01@132133 by Dave VanHorn

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> Sorry about the [OT] post, but who better to comment on the AVRs
> than PICsters?  If I ask on the AVR list I expect too many responses
> from people who have an almost religious attachment to that line.

No complaints here. I've been working with the 8515 for two years now, and
the Ice200 since it became available in beta.
Welcome to the Dark Side :)

1999\10\01@133837 by Nick Taylor

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Craig - -
Mail to spam_OUTatmel-requestTakeThisOuTspampic.co.za with SUBSCRIBE atmel as the body.
- Nick -

Craig Lee wrote:
>
> How does one get on the AVR list.
>
> I'd be very interested in evaluating their components due to the
> huge flash capability.
>
> Craig

1999\10\01@211320 by Bob Drzyzgula

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I have an STK200, and have used it with an 8515 and 8535.
The STK200 is a very nice development board, very easy
and flexible to work with. If your chip supports external
memory (e.g. the 8515) all you have to do is add a latch
and some SRAM to the appropriate sockets. The AVR processor
architecture is much more advanced than either the PIC
or the 8051; it is designed for high-level languages and
has a proper hardware stack and other such nice stuff.
It has a huge pool of fully functional registers, unlike
the PIC where everythign has to go throw W.  There are
several RTOSs available for it if those interest you;
if you can afford a copy of the IAR C compiler, Jean
Labrosse's uC/OS-II will run there. Some of the memory
constraints of the PIC just don't exist for the AVR.
Don't let the relatively low MHz of the chip fool you,
it doesn't have the same kind of clock divide as you see
in the PIC and the 8051.

There is a port of gcc for the AVR (follow the links on
Atmel's web site under Third Party Tools on the AVR page)
and a very nice assembler called AVA. The gcc and ava have
been ported to Win32 and now will generate object files
that can be run in the AVR Studio simulator and programmed
by Atmel's ISP software, so you can use those even if you
don't want to use Linux.

I also was interested in the ICE200, but had trouble
finding one for sale. At the Embedded Systems Conference,
I asked at the Atmel booth, and they said that they ran
out of bondouts, so it will be another two to three months
before the ICE200 is available again. The main limitation
of the ICE200 is that it doesn't have trace buffer support;
they have a higher-end ICE that does, but it costs around
$2500.

--Bob

On Fri, Oct 01, 1999 at 10:01:29AM -0700, Nick Taylor wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
.....bobKILLspamspam@spam@drzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================
       http://www.drzyzgula.org/bob/electronics/
============================================================

1999\10\02@044550 by nerstrand

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I have stumble on a pdf file on the new Microchip CD-ROM under Download\lit\truth.pdf
This is a comparison between the AVR and the PIC if any one is interested.
Regards
Niklas

{Original Message removed}

1999\10\02@065756 by gdaniel

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Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:

> I have stumble on a pdf file on the new Microchip CD-ROM under Download\lit\tr
uth.pdf
> This is a comparison between the AVR and the PIC if any one is interested.
> Regards
> Niklas

I've read it, it's a very misleading  document.   The very fact of it's existenc
e
indicates that uChip consider Atmel to be a major threat.

I just looked at again and now that I have actually worked with the Mega, 1200,
2313,
8515, 8535 and 8533, I can tell you from experience that most of the above "TRUT
H.PDF" is
absolute male bovine fecal matter.

There is repeated mention of Atmel's usage of No of bytes to indicate size of pr
ogram
memory and those who have not grasped the basic concept that all AVR instruction
s are 16
bit multiples might be missled (for example) by Atmel's true claim for the AT90S
1200 of
1k bytes program memory.

If you do not appreciate the above difference then it is easy to underspecify re
quired
memory for doing a job with Atmel AVR parts.

As an example I used a '1200 to engineer an eight channel PWM controler with cus
tom bit
banged serial protocol and reprogrammable network I.D.  The code just fit and th
e '1200
was just fast enough running with a 4mHz xtal.   Using 16F84s I would have had p
lenty of
code space but spent almost twice as much for the uC, had to run it at 10MHz and
still
probably required 4 x 16F84s to control the same No of channels due to a much lo
wer
effective speed of instruction execution relative to clock speed.

If you need to use more than the 32 bytes (Number of cache accumulators on the A
VR) then
your program will start to use program memory at a higher rate due to the extra
overhead
but then.... PIC bank swapping, INDF addressing etc required to control I/O etc
is just
as bad if not worse.   The large No of vectored interupts in conjunction with 32
cache
accumulators means that you can customise a rapid interupt system such as the Z8
0's
shadow registers.   Addressable push/pop stack on all but the '1200 give flexibi
lity as
do many special addressing instructions.

Down side is that the Atmel free assembler is very rudimentary (ie not allowing
nested
macros or conditional directives)

I suggest you invest an Atmel STK200 kit (cheap) and start reaping the benefits,
Last
project I priced using both uChips new analogue flash parts and Atmels (flash) a
nalogue
parts, the distributors quoted me half *again* the price for uChip's slower non
vectored
interupt chips !   While people are hooked to uChip there is (I believe) no chan
ce of
serious price drop, uChip  share investors are getting value for money.

1999\10\02@075848 by Bob Drzyzgula

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On Sat, Oct 02, 1999 at 10:43:25PM +1200, Graham Daniel wrote:
> Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:
>
> > I have stumble on a pdf file on the new Microchip CD-ROM under Download\lit\
truth.pdf
> > This is a comparison between the AVR and the PIC if any one is interested.
> > Regards
> > Niklas

Interesting that it's on the latest CD -- there was a recent
thread on this list about that document having been removed
from their website.

> Down side is that the Atmel free assembler is very rudimentary (ie not allowin
g nested
> macros or conditional directives)

Up side is that the IAR assembler is also free, and it
is much more functional. You can go to IAR's website --
http://www.iar.com -- and navigate down, or you can
try this frame reference:

 http://www.iar.com/products_EW/workzone/h1v3_workzone.asp?workzone=2

You need to download both the free assembler and the
Workbench demo, and install them separately. The demo
contains a help file for the workbench demo that contains,
AFAIK, the only available documentation for the assembler.

As I mentioned yesterday, you can also use the GNU tools
for the AVR. Relevant URLs are:

 http://medo.fov.uni-mb.si/mapp/
 http://members.xoom.com/volkeroth/index_e.htm
 http://members.xoom.com/Paulo_Soares

Recent versions of AVA can generate object files
that are compatible with Atmel's Windows-based
tools, and both GCC and AVA are available for
Windows. In addition, work is beginning to port
the standard GNU binutils (including the gas
assembler, although AVA will probably still
be supported) to the AVR.

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
bobspamKILLspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================
       http://www.drzyzgula.org/bob/electronics/
============================================================

1999\10\02@112016 by Dave VanHorn

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> I have stumble on a pdf file on the new Microchip CD-ROM under
Download\lit\truth.pdf
> This is a comparison between the AVR and the PIC if any one is interested.
> Regards
> Niklas

It is truly an interesting study in spin-doctoring.

1999\10\02@113035 by nerstrand

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If AVR is claming things that is not true time after time I do not blame Microchip to write something to their defence. In this truth.pdf file there are both god and bad things about the PICmicro and my view is that it is written in a objective manner.
I have Heard AVR seminars where they talked bad about the PICmicro instead of concentrate on their own products. If someone is telling bad things about their competitor they probably don have much self-esteem. Some people like the AVR and some the PICmicro, so why argue and why just don't leave it at that.
I like the PICmicro and that's why I'm on this PIC mailing list.
Regards
Niklas

{Original Message removed}

1999\10\02@155222 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:
>
> If AVR is claming things that is not true time after time I do not blame Micro
chip to write something to their defence. In this truth.pdf file there are both
god and bad things about the PICmicro and my view is that it is written in a obj
ective manner.
> I have Heard AVR seminars where they talked bad about the PICmicro instead of
concentrate on their own products. If someone is telling bad things about their
competitor they probably don have much self-esteem. Some people like the AVR and
some the PICmicro, so why argue and why just don't leave it at that.
[snip]

It started long ago, I read both sides files and counter-files, I have
my own opinion since it is very easy to verify what is the truth.

Of course, as an example, if someone says that I am "not educated", I
and who knows me will laugh a lot about the joke, and not only based on
my 30 years of electronic experience, 3 languages and 3 university
degrees. But as a company I can start to lose new customers, and this is
what *marketing* is about.

The point is that there are lots of night monsters in the closet, until
you turns on the light. Did you?  You can read the accusations, but you
can also take a look at the products data sheet by yourself.

Wagner.

1999\10\02@163334 by Bob Drzyzgula

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IMHO, PICmicros are cool, useful chips. Also IMHO, Atmel
AVRs are cool, useful chips. I think that ecumenism is
good and should be tried more often by more people in
more situations. It is however not so useful for marketing
purposes, I guess.  A shame, really.

--Bob

On Sat, Oct 02, 1999 at 06:03:01PM +0200, Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:

{Quote hidden}

============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
.....bobKILLspamspam.....drzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================
       http://www.drzyzgula.org/bob/electronics/
============================================================

1999\10\03@071947 by gdaniel

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face
Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:

> If AVR is claming things that is not true time after time I do not blame Micro
chip to write something to their defence. In this truth.pdf file there are both
god and bad things about the PICmicro and my view is that it is written in a obj
ective manner.

The Microchip "Truth" article is full of implications that Atmel have been makin
g incorrect claims,    If you *actually read* the AVR data sheets properly you w
ill understand that Atmel people at AVR seminars telling bad things about the PI
C are telling you not because of low self esteem, but because their R&D
team have come up with a very threatening competitor to PIC in the mid-high rang
e field.  Many people are highly resistant to progress and treasure their first
microcontroler brand and early code as a child clings to a teddy bear.   Natural
ly Atmel will point out their competitor's weak points and naturally
Scenix, Atmel and Microchip will likely be leapfrogged by others later in the se
arch for the ultimate low cost micros.   Keep an eye out for DSP price reduction
s.

> I have Heard AVR seminars where they talked bad about the PICmicro instead of
concentrate on their own products. If someone is telling bad things about their
competitor they probably don have much self-esteem. Some people like the AVR and
some the PICmicro, so why argue and why just don't leave it at that.
> I like the PICmicro and that's why I'm on this PIC mailing list.
> Regards
> Niklas

Niklas, it was you who brought up the subject of Microchip's "Truth.pdf",    I a
lso like the PIC micro; the difference between us is that I have actually tried
out the AVR series and now like AVR better.   When I first read the "truth" arti
cle it looked basically correct and not overly biased, now I have the
experience to completely reverse my early opinion.
regards,
PICnMOTnSTnAVRnZILOGnALTERAn Graham Daniel.

>
> > Niklas Wennerstrand wrote:
> >
> > > I have stumble on a pdf file on the new Microchip CD-ROM under Download\li
t\truth.pdf
> > > This is a comparison between the AVR and the PIC if any one is interested.
> > > Regards
> > > Niklas
> >
> > I've read it, it's a very misleading  document.   The very fact of it's exis
tence
> > indicates that uChip consider Atmel to be a major threat.
> >
> > I just looked at again and now that I have actually worked with the Mega, 12
00, 2313,
> > 8515, 8535 and 8533, I can tell you from experience that most of the above "
TRUTH.PDF" is
> > absolute male bovine fecal matter.

<<long details of my previous reply cut to save B.W.>>

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