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'[PIC]: Microchip overtaking Motorola/Freescale'
2005\06\22@141412 by Charles Craft

picon face
www.forbes.com/markets/2005/06/22/0622automarketscan09.html

<snip>

"While we applaud the company's share gains in the 16-bit and 32-bit microcontroller markets, we believe Microchip Technology (nasdaq: MCHP -  news  -  people ) should continue to gain share in the 8-bit microcontroller end market due to the superior PIC architecture and software."

<snip>



2005\06\22@165139 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
"While we applaud the company's share gains in the 16-bit and 32-bit
microcontroller markets, we believe Microchip Technology (nasdaq: MCHP -
news  -  people ) should continue to gain share in the 8-bit
microcontroller end market due to the superior PIC architecture and
software."

"superior PIC architecture"

What's he been smoking? I always thought we Dutch had the best stuff!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\22@170814 by David P Harris

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>"superior PIC architecture"
>
>What's he been smoking? I always thought we Dutch had the best stuff!
>  
>
Nah, BC Bud is the way to go!  But superior architecture! Not!

David


2005\06\22@174921 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
Hmmmm...  Well, I particularly enjoy working with PICs, even though I have
been doing so for only a few months now, but I can see why it is so
popular.

Firts, it is cheap compared to others like AVR and ARM, plus, there is
lots of support for it.  If you try to call Microchip, you actually do get
to speak to someone and they will either help you out or find someone that
can help you out, and that has been my personal experience, which I cannot
say the same about AVR and specially about FreeScale, and a couple of
other vendors I tried calling recently.

Power/resource wise, PICs lack a great deal (again, I'm a beginner).
Also, what hobbist is willing to pay $25 for one ARM MCU (single
quantities) for every little project their interested on and not have easy
access to vendor support (actually speak to a human being that can either
help you or point you in the right direction) and free tools developed by
the vendor, when you can get free samples from microchip, a descent IDE
and free compilers etc.

Unfortunatelly, some of the other manufacturers are mostly interested in
supporting the big clients like Ford or GM, etc, and not some guys who is
interested in learning a little bit about MCUs and will purchase maybe 1
mcu every few months.

It may be a dumb comparison but, the way I see it, Microchip is doing the
same thing Microsoft did.  Lot's of PR, giving away free tools for those
who develop so they can learn and put their stuff to work.  There are, or
at least there used to be, programs from MS that allowed you to install
any product for free as long as it is for development purposes and you
only have to license the production environment once the final product
went into production.  Lots of people don't necessarily like Microsoft's
tactics, but it did get them where they are now, whether a monopoly or
not.

-Mario

{Quote hidden}

> -

2005\06\22@204601 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Actually I think architecture may not be the deciding factor
for their success. They have a very good sales and technical
support team. They listen to customer's feedback. Of
course there are some growing pains but seems they
are still caring for the customers.

We just complained that their 14-pin parts are too big
compared to Atmel and Silabs and the next day they came back
to us saying that they will add the 4x4 QFN options. Try
to talk to Freescale.

People have complained that PICkit 1 is using OTP parts
and now they will come out a new PICkit with the 18F USB
parts. You do not even have a cheap tool like ICD2 to
develop HC908 and the cheap HC908 parts (not the HCS908)
have huge current consumptions compare to others.

People have complained the high price of dsPICs and not
much use of the DSP functions, now they will soon
come out a family of 16 bit MCU without the DSP functions.

Still their pricing is not as competitive as Atmel now. :(

Atmel is almost as good (better price and better architecture,
good 3rd party support) as Microchip but the only problem is
that they obsolete parts too fast and the support is not as
good (try to get the samples from them).

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\23@024601 by Electron

flavicon
face
At 14.08 2005.06.22 -0700, you wrote:
>Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>
>>"superior PIC architecture"
>>
>>What's he been smoking? I always thought we Dutch had the best stuff!
>>
>Nah, BC Bud is the way to go!  But superior architecture! Not!

It makes me laugh when they call the PIC a "single-cycle RISC".
It has just two pipelines packed with tons of logic each, it's not what I would define a good example of "single-cycle RISC" (let away that it's not single cycle, unless my BASIC interpreter is single cycle as well if I pretend to divide Fosc/4000000 and call it an "instruction cycle").
The PIC may NOT be microcoded, but that alone doesn't make it a decent example of "RISC" IMHO.

2005\06\23@060133 by Jan-Erik Soderholm

face picon face
Chen Xiao Fan wrote :

> now they will soon come out a family of
> 16
bit MCU without the DSP functions.

Any reference or pointer ?

Jan-
Erik.



2005\06\23@085934 by jrem

picon face
<snip>
> lots of support for it.  If you try to call Microchip, you actually
> do get
> to speak to someone and they will either help you out or find someone
> that
> can help you out,
<snip>

I was in Phoenix on business last year, and had some free time, and
swung by the Microchip plant on a whim to see what I could dig up.  I
didn't get the plant tour I was looking for because they were closed
for an annual vacation shut-down, but I met with a purchasing agent gal
that was verrrry cool and talked with me about their biz for a while.  

IMO it isn't about having the best product, it's about doing the right
things at the right time for the right reasons (at the right price).  I
think their management team is on it.  I bought some at $27 a share
(and my junk-box is has about $27 worth of their product in it, none of
which are samples).

__________________________________________________
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
http://mail.yahoo.com

2005\06\23@093531 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> IMO it isn't about having the best product, it's about doing the right
> things at the right time for the right reasons (at the right
> price).  I
> think their management team is on it.  I bought some at $27 a share
> (and my junk-box is has about $27 worth of their product in
> it, none of
> which are samples).

I won't argue with (most of) the above. Note that having the best
architecture is not something the aspire, so a business comment that
mentions that as their strong point is actually wrong twice (because it
is not, and because he overlooked the real string points).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\23@110414 by jrem

picon face
We can all see past that marketing spin . . .

--- Wouter van Ooijen <spam_OUTwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\06\23@161450 by Peter

picon face

On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, Mario Mendes Jr. wrote:

> Hmmmm...  Well, I particularly enjoy working with PICs, even though I have
> been doing so for only a few months now, but I can see why it is so
> popular.
>
> Firts, it is cheap compared to others like AVR and ARM, plus, there is

Cheap ? You get a LPC2xxx from Philips, that's an ARM TDMI, that is
almost powerful enough to run QNX for $10 a piece with at least 2x10 bit
AD 256k flash 32k ram on chip, legal I2C, SPI, too many timers to count,
and a proper RTC etc, runs at 60Mhz on internal pll, one instruction per
clock on average. Plus a decent open source toolchain and a fantastic
built in bootloader and debugger (it's burned into the silicon!), and
JTAG compatibility, and serial flashing (a la Buffalo). And NO PAGING OR
BANKING.

The ARM is not in the same league with PICs. Never was, not even 15
years ago when it was developed.

Peter

2005\06\23@164611 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Cheap ? You get a LPC2xxx from Philips, that's an ARM TDMI, that is
> almost powerful enough to run QNX for $10 a piece with at
> least 2x10 bit
> AD 256k flash 32k ram on chip, legal I2C, SPI, too many
> timers to count,
> and a proper RTC etc, runs at 60Mhz on internal pll,

note: for the current chips (2106 etc) this is running from RAM only,
not when running from flash!

But I agree: as alternative to the high-end PICs an ARM looks very
attractive. OTOH I have yet to see a <$1 6-pin or 8-pin ARM.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\23@174925 by Padu

picon face
From: "Peter"
>
> Cheap ? You get a LPC2xxx from Philips, that's an ARM TDMI, that is
> almost powerful enough to run QNX for $10 a piece with at least 2x10 bit
> AD 256k flash 32k ram on chip, legal I2C, SPI, too many timers to count,
> and a proper RTC etc, runs at 60Mhz on internal pll, one instruction per
> clock on average. Plus a decent open source toolchain and a fantastic
> built in bootloader and debugger (it's burned into the silicon!), and
> JTAG compatibility, and serial flashing (a la Buffalo). And NO PAGING OR
> BANKING.
>
> The ARM is not in the same league with PICs. Never was, not even 15
> years ago when it was developed.
>


That's a very good discussion. I actualy asked this question on
comp.robotics.misc.
I'm creating a mobile robot, and I'm planning to create a series of
daughterboards that will take care of one or more sensors, pack the data and
send it as requested by the cpu through an RS485 network.

I've chosen the PIC18F452 as my controller of choice for this app. Next week
I'm getting a LPC2xxx demo board from phillips, and I wonder if the ARM
would be useful in my application. Or even a more generic question, where
would you use a PIC and where would you use an ARM?

Padu

2005\06\23@194403 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
I understand you point, and I have to agree.

For the hardware you get in a PIC for $5.00, it IS expensive when you
compare with another MCU like you just did, but taking the hobbyst in
consideration it is cheap, specially when you can go the the Microchip
site and get a few MCUs for free, therefore very cheap.  Also cheap on
this point, you call, speak with a human being and you paid only about
$5 for the MCU, but if you got a free sample, they're still talking to
you on the phone for nothing.

Another dumb comparison: I preffer paying an extra $0.10/gallon of gas
at a full service station to saving it at a self service station, and it
is not because I don't want to get out of the car, but because I get to
interact with a real human being and maybe even get to have a nice short
conversation with a stranger that is [probably] not going to whack me
over the head for my wallet.

I pay a little more for pics, but the Microchip guys talk to me when I
call, and that's valuable service.

-Mario

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\23@194951 by Jinx

face picon face
> But I agree: as alternative to the high-end PICs an ARM looks very
> attractive. OTOH I have yet to see a <$1 6-pin or 8-pin ARM.

I believe the LPC900 family (80C51-based) more closely resembles
the PICs than ARM. I think Microchip have the edge in areas such as
nanoWatt parts, the 10F, 12F675, speed (LPC900 MIPS vs PIC
MIPS) etc

2005\06\23@200733 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Not yet. I heard this quite sometime ago but normally
it will take sometime to get the things. Probably they
will announce it within the year.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan-Erik Soderholm
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2005 6:02 PM

> now they will soon come out a family of
> 16 bit MCU without the DSP functions.

Any reference or pointer ?

2005\06\23@203743 by Charles Linquist

flavicon
face
Microchip has promised a sample of a 24FXXX chip sometime
this summer.

Charles Linquist


Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\06\24@025353 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

> "superior PIC architecture"
> What's he been smoking?

You're confusing the cpu architecture with the overall microcontroller
architecture.  The PIC CPU is ... painful, but for some reason I keep
feeling that the overall chips come out more "balanced" and "useful"
than many of the competitors.  It's not JUST the peripherals, but also
other design choices.  25mA output current (compared the "high current
outputs (5/10mA source/sink) on some outputs for direct LED drive" of
the motorola chips.  And I'm reminded of Atmel's initial attempt at
an 8-pin chip (at90s2323) with a whopping 3 IO pins.  And the attiny28
with a full register worth of pins that's input only.  A lot of other
vendor's chip selections look like a combination of inelegant
kitchen-sink parts combined with chips that are very targeted to some
particular application (the tiny28 is apparently an IR remote chip.)

BillW

2005\06\24@025739 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jun 23, 2005, at 5:07 PM, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
>
>> now they will soon come out a family of
>> 16 bit MCU without the DSP functions.
>>
They HAVE announced 18pin dsPIC parts...

BillW

2005\06\24@030854 by Electron

flavicon
face
At 19.43 2005.06.23 -0400, you wrote:
>I understand you point, and I have to agree.
>
>For the hardware you get in a PIC for $5.00, it IS expensive when you
>compare with another MCU like you just did, but taking the hobbyst in
>consideration it is cheap, specially when you can go the the Microchip
>site and get a few MCUs for free, therefore very cheap.  Also cheap on
>this point, you call, speak with a human being and you paid only about
>$5 for the MCU, but if you got a free sample, they're still talking to
>you on the phone for nothing.
>
>Another dumb comparison: I preffer paying an extra $0.10/gallon of gas
>at a full service station to saving it at a self service station, and it
>is not because I don't want to get out of the car, but because I get to
>interact with a real human being and maybe even get to have a nice short
>conversation with a stranger that is [probably] not going to whack me
>over the head for my wallet.
>
>I pay a little more for pics, but the Microchip guys talk to me when I
>call, and that's valuable service.

You feel alone. Try a dog, or a more expensive device: a girlfriend. ;D



2005\06\24@034025 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Yes I have the same feeling that Microchip has a better
"balanced" and "useful" mix of chips than others. After
all, they are very ambitious to double the turnover
until 2010.

Freescale is still a bigger company and has much more
advanced product. But in terms of low end MCU market, they
are losing out. They have nothing to offer us
when their distributor visit us yesterday.

My list of requirement:
1) packaging not bigger than 5mmx5mm
2) >= 8 I/O pins
3) low current consumption with built-in internal oscillator
4) low cost, better <= US$1.00 with 10k quantity
5) comparator or fast ADC

Microchip almost has nothing to offer us until they come
out with the new 14/20 pin 4x4mm QFN20 MCUs. They do have a
very comprehensive portfolio. They have very good support.

Freescale has nothing (big package and high current consumption
for the HC908 family). The HCS08 family is better but more
expensive. It seems that they are getting to the low end with
the QT/QY parts. The new HC908QB4/8 looks not bad.
They even come out cheap tools now. It lists USBMultiLink08
as a universal in-circuit-debugger and flash programmer
and only costs US$99.

Atmel has quite some choice (AtTiny2313, AtTiny26, AtMega48):
low cost, fast. AtTiny28 is going to be obsoleted though,
as well as the AtMega8.

Silabs has a few choice (C8051F30x): very small (3mmx3mm or
4mmx4mm),very fast ADC, fast MCU but higher price in general.

Zilog has nothing to offer us as well. They are trying though.

MSP430 is quite nice but we have not looked at them yet. Maybe
TI is too big a company that we are a bit afraid of them. :)

They are folks talking about PSOC will take over the world
but I think that will never happen. Just open PSOC designer
and you will know that.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\24@053416 by Luis.Moreira

picon face
Motorola (Freescale) always answers back my queries even when I was asking
questions that clearly were from someone just starting.
At some stage I asked a question about the use of higher speed oscillators
and they gave me what I can call a misleading answers, I just slated the
engineer on the feedback sheet. To my amazing the Engineer wrote me an email
personally apologizing for not giving me the right info. To me that's
service. Freescale stuff is far superior to the Microchip Stuff, you just
need to look at how many ways of addressing there are in their Micros and
price/features Microchip losses out big time. Microchip as a very good
marketing machine that's all. Regards
               Luis  

Luis Moreira
.....luis.moreiraKILLspamspam@spam@jet.uk
tel. 01235464615
JET PSU Department
UKAEA Culham Division
J20/1/55, Culham Science Centre
Abingdon
Oxfordshire
OX14 3DB


{Original Message removed}

2005\06\24@053927 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jun 24, 2005, at 12:40 AM, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:
>
> My list of requirement:
> 1) packaging not bigger than 5mmx5mm
>
Ah, well, you are looking for different parts than me.  Part of my
problem with (eg) ARMs is the "unfriendly" packaging they come in.
I've got some sample LPC2130s (?) from Philips.  Lovely part.  Lots
of MIPS, lots of memory, lots of IO.  Then I tried to lay out a sort
of development board for it :-(  It'd be easy in four layers, I guess;
it's got those power and ground connections on every side of the QFP,
which makes it a real PITA to route signals around...

BillW

2005\06\24@105322 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face

> Microchip as a very good marketing machine that's all. Regards
>                Luis
>
> Luis Moreira


Somewhat the same thing I said when I compared it to Microsoft.

-Mario

2005\06\24@130806 by Peter

picon face


On Thu, 23 Jun 2005, Padu wrote:

> I've chosen the PIC18F452 as my controller of choice for this app. Next week
> I'm getting a LPC2xxx demo board from phillips, and I wonder if the ARM
> would be useful in my application. Or even a more generic question, where
> would you use a PIC and where would you use an ARM?

Short answer (reflects my opinion): I would use a low or midrange pic
for any quick project where accurate timing is essential and where I
want to code a lot of microsecond-accurate bit-banging in assembly at a
low cost. I would use something else for anything larger (I do not have
access to a pic C compiler excepting sdcc), and program it in C. Then I
could change processors several times without trouble as needed (C is
fairly portable).

Peter

2005\06\24@143946 by Peter

picon face


On Fri, 24 Jun 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Look up Leon Heller's two-sided LPC development board layout on the
Internet.

http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller/lpc2104.html

It's a 2104 but still ...

Peter

2005\06\24@154038 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Ah, well, you are looking for different parts than me.  Part of my
> problem with (eg) ARMs is the "unfriendly" packaging they come in.
> I've got some sample LPC2130s (?) from Philips.  Lovely part.  Lots
> of MIPS, lots of memory, lots of IO.  Then I tried to lay out a sort
> of development board for it :-(  It'd be easy in four
> layers, I guess;
> it's got those power and ground connections on every side
> of the QFP,
> which makes it a real PITA to route signals around...

You got to be kidding. We use a lot of LPC2106 boards developed by a
fellow teacher (2-sided). There are LPC (= Philips ARM) boards all over
the web, both commercial and free. Check for instance Olimex.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\26@204616 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
So you mean that ARM can not do microsecond-accurate things?
That is essential for a lot of applications. I also read that
the LPC2xxx and Atmel SAM7 can not toggle the I/O pins very
fast even with 60MHz. Maybe we need to wait for the next
generation of ARM MCU using the new MCU friendly architecture.

Anyway, looks like there are much more examples on the web
for LPC2xxx than dsPICs.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\06\27@020837 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> So you mean that ARM can not do microsecond-accurate things?

It can, but compared to a PIC it is very difficult to calculate exactly
how long things will take, and this depends on how the chip is
configurated (so in a library you can't assume much). But still much
less difficult than for a P5.

> That is essential for a lot of applications. I also read that
> the LPC2xxx and Atmel SAM7 can not toggle the I/O pins very
> fast even with 60MHz.

First note that for this generation 60 MHz is possible only when running
from RAM. From Flash 10 Mhz is typical, maybe 20 MHz is possible, and
there are some sequence-dependent optimizations (sequential prefetch).

Next: the I/O of an ARM is typically on an internal "low"-speed bus. A
typical ARM is simply not optimized to do CPU-driven high-speed I/O. But
it has a bunch of peripherals that will put most PICs to shame (like:
two PC-compatible UARTs incl. buffering).

> Maybe we need to wait for the next
> generation of ARM MCU using the new MCU friendly architecture.

I doubt that will change much. The core will run faster, maybe 60 MHz
from flash and 200 MHz from RAM or cache, and there will be more
peripherals, like USB and ethernet. But programmed I/O will not be its
best side.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\27@181704 by Peter

picon face


On Mon, 27 Jun 2005, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

> So you mean that ARM can not do microsecond-accurate things?
> That is essential for a lot of applications. I also read that
> the LPC2xxx and Atmel SAM7 can not toggle the I/O pins very
> fast even with 60MHz. Maybe we need to wait for the next
> generation of ARM MCU using the new MCU friendly architecture.

I have just started with this so I have a lot more to read (I know some
ARM from non-embedded systems). It appears that the ARM has a very small
cache (2104 seems to have 4 words x 32 bits) so branching could become
slow. The LPC2104 does not have a specification for port rise and fall
times. Anyway the ports are CMOS drive capability (4mA @3V, 5V tolerant
inputs). In any case, 'normal' applications cam probably be handled
easily. Wouter v. O. said that someone at his school did a realtime DSP
in this chip. They probably had a lot of room to spare afterwards ;-)

Peter

2005\06\28@032819 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Wouter v. O. said that someone at his school did a
> realtime DSP in this chip.

I don't recall saying that, but it might still be true. There are MPEG
decoders for ARM, but I am not sure they will run on a 60 MHz ARM 7.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\06\28@184231 by Peter

picon face


On Tue, 28 Jun 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Wouter v. O. said that someone at his school did a
>> realtime DSP in this chip.
>
> I don't recall saying that, but it might still be true. There are MPEG
> decoders for ARM, but I am not sure they will run on a 60 MHz ARM 7.

You said that two people at your school built a decoder for an aircraft
location protocol using that chip, and that the code is not available
because they intend to make a product out of it.

Peter

2005\06\29@020706 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> >> Wouter v. O. said that someone at his school did a
> >> realtime DSP in this chip.
> >
> > I don't recall saying that, but it might still be true.
> There are MPEG
> > decoders for ARM, but I am not sure they will run on a 60 MHz ARM 7.
>
> You said that two people at your school built a decoder for
> an aircraft
> location protocol using that chip, and that the code is not available
> because they intend to make a product out of it.

OK, that one. But they did not use anything I would classify as DSP
techniques. They clipped the signal, made a list of the zero-crossing
moments, and calculated from there. They did add some 'correction'
heuristics that might correspond to filtering in the analog domain, but
I would not call that 'did a realtime DSP'.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
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