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'[PIC] Come to the Dark Side (tm) - Free CodeWarrio'
2006\01\15@072915 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I have a friend who is reasonably knowledgeable on industry
> directions
> and every time I send him any Microchip 'ra ra' material, while he is
> heavily committed in other areas, he recites the same basic mantra -
> ie 'ARM is it, the whole world is going to ARM, the future is an ARM
> future, those who are not already on the ARM bandwagon are in danger
> of missing the future, ...' .
>
> Thoughts?

I can agree with him for the higher-end applications. Compare an ARM and
a bigger 18F or even a dsPIC. But I've yet to see an ARM chip for simple
applications for < $1 @ 10, and I see no cheap (<$5) DIP RAM chips (in
fact none at all, but there are DIP modules with ARM chips, but they are
not cheap).

As industrial guys you might say 'who needs DIPs'? The answer is: todays
students, which will be your tomorrow programmers.

Another issue is availability. ARMs are available from different
vendors, most of which are much larger than Mircochip, which is good
because they won't disappear overnight, but also bad because they have
much more on their mind than just their ARM chips. Compare to the
situation with AVRs.

Wouter van Ooijen

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



2006\01\15@144646 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> I am not an analyst but my opinion is that anything that does
> not scale easily to 16-32x its current size, is not second courced and
widely
> available, will be a niche within a year or a few.

So that would be everything?

AFAIK no ARM chip is realy second-sourced in the sense that you can buy
the same chip from a second manufacturer.

> That would be
> anything that uses paging or banking or complicated upgrade
> paths or is
> a moving target architecture-wise, or has hard-to-get design
> tools.

One of my favourite books from 30y ago was a book about microcontrollers
from Adam Osbourne (the one that later made the Osbourne I). It
contained a prediction about the future of microntrollers, which boiled
down to: There will be a split between the higher part of the marked,
where nice-architecture chips will dominate, and a lower part where even
the weirdest architecture can survive if the price is right. I think
this still holds, and there are a few more important things like inertia
and availability track record.

> With the new ethernet chips, the older architectures will
> have some air
> to breathe, but not for long. The second question a client would ask
> after having squeezed an interactive web server into a PIC
> would likely
> be 'does it do DHCP and can we manage it via SNMP' ? Or 'can
> I connect
> it to a DSL modem directly' ? ARM and MIPS can do that sort of thing
> now.

That will indeed be the questions for the higher segment of the market.
For the lower segment the questions will be 'what does it cost at
100k/y' and 'can I be sure that I can buy that chip 10y from now'.

Wouter van Ooijen

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


2006\01\15@175011 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 1/16/06, Wouter van Ooijen <spam_OUTwouterTakeThisOuTspamvoti.nl> wrote:
>
> That will indeed be the questions for the higher segment of the market.
> For the lower segment the questions will be 'what does it cost at
> 100k/y' and 'can I be sure that I can buy that chip 10y from now'.
>

The two questions are what I ask first. But the quantity in the
first question will oinly be 10k/year and 50k/year.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\01\16@072024 by Luis.Moreira

picon face
Hi Guys
I have been using CodeWarrior for a long time now and it works really
well. I now use almost exclusively Freescale MCU HC8 and HC12, tools are
cheap look at Softec and the site you should look at is
http://www.freegeeks.net.
Best regards
               Luis



{Original Message removed}

2006\01\16@073218 by Shawn Wilton

picon face
Nothing personal, but I have always considered CW to be complete and total
sh*t.  For PC dev atleast.  Haven't used their products for the Freescale
processors, but unless they have fundamentally changed their s/w, well uh,
ick.


On 1/16/06, Luis Moreira <.....Luis.MoreiraKILLspamspam@spam@jet.uk> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\01\16@074251 by olin piclist

face picon face
Peter wrote:
> The second question a client would ask
> after having squeezed an interactive web server into a PIC would likely
> be 'does it do DHCP and can we manage it via SNMP' ? Or 'can I connect
> it to a DSL modem directly' ?

But the first question is "can I have it for under $10?".

******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\01\16@092951 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Which programmer do you recommend for the HC8/12?
Similar
capacity like the ICD2?

John

--- Luis Moreira <Luis.MoreiraspamKILLspamjet.uk> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\01\16@171353 by Peter

picon face

On Sun, 15 Jan 2006, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> I am not an analyst but my opinion is that anything that does not
>> scale easily to 16-32x its current size, is not second courced and
>> widely available, will be a niche within a year or a few.
>
> So that would be everything?

Basically everyting you cannot use, does not exist, no ? E.g. a nice
chip that requires a minimum 10,000 order for the makers to notice you,
has an 'inexpensive' development environment that is about
$5000/seat/year and requires a stack of NDAs to be signed for access to
their IP does not look like it's going to be very popular, does it ?

> AFAIK no ARM chip is realy second-sourced in the sense that you can buy
> the same chip from a second manufacturer.

No but they are all very similar and porting code is very easy (using
the C language as common platform).

{Quote hidden}

Well if you are right then it's a good thing that there is an open
source C compiler for the MCS51 core because it's going to be around for
a while .... btw I write a lot on this mailing list but my last 4
projects at least were MCS51 core powered ... and the MCS51 already has
a few TCP/IP stacks available ...

Peter

2006\01\16@231545 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Jan 16, 2006, at 2:13 PM, Peter wrote:

> I am not an analyst but my opinion is that anything that does not
> scale easily to 16-32x its current size, is not second courced and
> widely available, will be a niche within a year or a few.
>
I've heard that the initial x86 patents are quite close to expiration,
and that as a result we might expect to see large numbers of x86
clones from all over appear at about that time.  That could be...
interesting :-)

BillW

2006\01\17@135359 by Peter

picon face


On Mon, 16 Jan 2006, William Chops Westfield wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Uuuugggghh nooo (Peter grabs barf bag and runs)

2006\01\17@141740 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On January 17, 2006 10:53 am, Peter wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Jan 2006, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > On Jan 16, 2006, at 2:13 PM, Peter wrote:
> >> I am not an analyst but my opinion is that anything that does not
> >> scale easily to 16-32x its current size, is not second courced and
> >> widely available, will be a niche within a year or a few.
> >
> > I've heard that the initial x86 patents are quite close to
> > expiration, and that as a result we might expect to see large
> > numbers of x86 clones from all over appear at about that time.
> > That could be... interesting :-)
>
> Uuuugggghh nooo (Peter grabs barf bag and runs)

Barf bag or not, I think that is right too.
There is a huge amount of existing data and compilers available for the
old 8088 and 8086. We are probably going to see a lot of x86 experts,
so-called-experts, their dogs, and cats designing 8088 software because
it's very closs to the x86 and can be tested on x86 hardware.
So expect to see excellent, average, and junk software to come out.

2006\01\17@143210 by William Couture

face picon face
On 1/17/06, Jose Da Silva <.....DigitalKILLspamspam.....joescat.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I'm actually one of those x86 experts.  I think I'd enjoy breaking out
the old stuff again...

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2006\01\17@152920 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On January 17, 2006 11:32 am, William Couture wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I recall making small things like phoname.zip or datapipe.zip, but
nothing compared to the compression contests which you might see in
808x assembler archives, like "giant" which was a monster of a program
fitting within only 4k of code, that's where you see the specialists
come out and show how it's really done, making your own work pale in
comparison.  ;-)
One observance a coworker friend of mine said (having lived in HongKong,
China & Japan), was that it would be better to make a certain product
we used to build (at a place I worked at previously), as an adapter
module, versus doing the entire thing self-contained with it's own
processor. The adapter has the advantage that these x86 creators could
adapt it to their own product, while the self-contained product, was
just that, self contained, and couldn't produce any other spin-off
products that our company couldn't even have imagined of at the time.
You just have to look at USB, and see all the adapter modules which plug
into a USB port to see what I mean.
So, in summary, if you are an expert, then continue designing, but if
not, then maybe the road ahead is designing adapters for a lot of 808x
designers we will be seeing in future.

2006\01\17@191613 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>>> I've heard that the initial x86 patents are quite close to
>>> expiration, and that as a result we might expect to see large
>>> numbers of x86 clones from all over appear at about that time.
>
> So expect to see excellent, average, and junk software to come out.
>

This is different than the x86 situation now, HOW exactly?  For
that matter, is it different than software for ANY architecture?
(given the number of existing x86 clones, it isn't clear to me
exactly how the patent expirations will change things.  But we
shall see...)

BillW

2006\01\17@211726 by Jose Da Silva

flavicon
face
On January 17, 2006 04:16 pm, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> >>> I've heard that the initial x86 patents are quite close to
> >>> expiration, and that as a result we might expect to see large
> >>> numbers of x86 clones from all over appear at about that time.
> >
> > So expect to see excellent, average, and junk software to come out.
>
> This is different than the x86 situation now, HOW exactly?

Bell curve situation (stats).
Larger population of programmers (from the desktop category) now fits
under the (microcontroller) curve, so not only will the "excellent"
category move higher up the scale, but likewise, the "junk" category
will certainly creep lower.  ;-)
http://www.netmba.com/statistics/distribution/normal/

Comparing the past with the present, yes, we can certainly claim
improvements.... just look at the internet, you have linux, adobe PDFs,
flash media, chat, etc....
The difference is that at the time you got your "old" tools, it was a
small bell curve and easier to distinguish the junk from the jewels.
Now, you have a large bell curve.
Back then, when searching for good software you were drinking water from
a garden hose, while now, searching for software can be like attempting
to drink water from a fire hydrant.

> For that matter, is it different than software for ANY architecture?

The bell curve situation fits all processors, or anything else we could
be speaking of... for example quality of custard pies for throwing....
some are poor, some are excellent, most are average.
you bake a larger group of pies, and you will likely have some pies that
exceeded your previous mark of excellence, and also some that surpass
your previous mark of bad.

> (given the number of existing x86 clones, it isn't clear to me
> exactly how the patent expirations will change things.

Look at computers when apple II, Commodore, Tandy, Atari, etc...
existed, and look at the desktop market now... about 95% x86 versus
PPC, Sun, cell, other?
Take debian linux for example... early versions of debian compiled for a
whole bunch of processors and the running joke was they were at version
2.0 when every other distro were claiming version 5 or 8 or whatever.
Now look at debian linux, where they have pretty well given up on
attempting to make it compile on a whole bunch of different
architectures and are now concentrating on just x86, and 1 or 2 other
processors.

> But we shall see...)

...all too true, so that's enough "guessing" the future for me.

Cheers!

2006\01\17@231641 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Jan 17, 2006, at 6:22 PM, Jose Da Silva wrote:

> Larger population of programmers (from the desktop category) now fits
> under the (microcontroller) curve, so not only will the "excellent"
> category move higher up the scale, but likewise, the "junk" category
> will certainly creep lower.  ;-)

I dunno.  Seems like the opportunity would be in "embedded x86";
something like the current ARMs with 64k of RAM and Flash integrated,
and a bunch of peripherals.  Since we're talking C (?), the underlying
CPU is relatively less important, and you get code whose sucky-ness
depends on the authors understanding of the peripheral set, and
ultimately, their understanding of the problem being solved.  That's
nothing new.

What MIGHT be new is a bunch of people used to writing 4MB visual xxx
applications who suddenly think they can write microcontroller code,
which would be moderately amusing, but those would be eliminated
long before the code sees the light of day.

It is moderately amusing that the amount of cache in a modern
x86 processor dwarfs the total memory in the average embedded CPU.

BillW

2006\01\18@131806 by Peter

picon face

On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Jose Da Silva wrote:

> The bell curve situation fits all processors, or anything else we could

The bell curve fits random distributions constrained by one constraint
with equal 'resistance' for all points. When this is not true then it is
not a bell curve.

Peter

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