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'[PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH'
2009\03\09@134951 by James Newton

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Microchip has purchased HI-TECH, makers of the C compilers for PIC and other
chips. In the future, HI-TECH will narrow their focus to only PIC parts.
This acquisition greatly expands Microchips C language support for PIC
parts. No word on any changes in the cost or availability of the HI-TECH C
compilers for the PICs, but some "deals" are expected.

www.microchip.com/stellent/groups/sitecomm_sg/documents/market_commun
ication/en540081.pdf

---
James Newton
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com
1(949)743-1447 phone
http://www.massmind.org/member/JMN-EFP-786


2009\03\09@145759 by cdb

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:: Microchip has purchased HI-TECH

I mentioned this in a OT topic recently. Here in Australia they
advertised for staff.

My post in OT from 2nd March.

http://www.seek.com.au/showjob.asp?jobid=15032025

Now in Acacia Ridge (just a 30 min drive down the road) is a certain
other 'C'for Pics development tool manufacturer.   I seem to recall
chatter about them being the writers of C18, this might also explain
why this other compiler (optimisation not withstanding) is bundled
with C30 - maybe my conspiracy theory is working overtime :)

Colin
--
cdb, .....colinKILLspamspam@spam@btech-online.co.uk on 10/03/2009

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2009\03\09@153144 by solarwind

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Very good news. I hope their compiler set becomes unified and optimized.

2009\03\09@162845 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 7:31 PM, solarwind <x.solarwind.xspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

> Very good news. I hope their compiler set becomes unified and optimized.
>

PICC is not bad actually, the question is if the free version will have the
optimisation restriction on it?

Tamas
--
Rudonix DoubleSaver
http://www.rudonix.com

2009\03\09@170925 by Bob Blick

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On Mon, 9 Mar 2009 14:31:43 -0500, "solarwind" <.....x.solarwind.xKILLspamspam.....gmail.com>
said:
> Very good news. I hope their compiler set becomes unified and optimized.

Could it be that MPLAB becomes Eclipse based in the future?

Because they are hiring people in Australia, so it seems like there is
more work there, not less like I would expect, especially given that
they are no longer developing for MSP430 etc.

Time will tell.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

--
http://www.fastmail.fm - Email service worth paying for. Try it for free

2009\03\09@171514 by cdb

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:: Could it be that MPLAB becomes Eclipse based in the future?

The thing that interested me was that the job advertisment included a
requirement for Java - and there is a Java developer in Australia who
has I understand, shown his compiler and Eclipse IDE to Microchip -
Muvium is the compilers name.

Colin
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2009\03\09@172035 by Funny NYPD

picon face
That's actually bad news for C18 and C30 users.
Hi-tech did got some advantage on PIC16 and PIC18 C compilor due to some of their engineer and advantages on these part of business. But their dsPIC30/33+PIC24 C compilor is a loser to GNU GCC. Now, they are part of Microchip, which might lead C30 to dead for marketing reason (which is why the PICkit2 still cannot debug PIC32, and until last fall, the PICkit2 couldn't debug dsPIC30Fs).

Same will apply to C18 which has been improved recently (though still not as perfect as old PICC18 (8.35Plx and older.)).

Hi-tech is good on marketing on the past years, and their focus has shift from good product to Good market control, so don't be surprise if you got more MBA staff (One example is they abandoned their in-house developed HI-TIDE which is really productive, and went to Eclipse based New Hi-TIDE, which is so slow and many useful function/features are missed, the new HI-TIDE is now full of useless but beautiful icons).

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: Tamas Rudnai <tamas.rudnaispamspam_OUTgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <@spam@piclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 4:28:03 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH

On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 7:31 PM, solarwind <KILLspamx.solarwind.xKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

> Very good news. I hope their compiler set becomes unified and optimized.
>

PICC is not bad actually, the question is if the free version will have the
optimisation restriction on it?

Tamas
--
Rudonix DoubleSaver
http://www.rudonix.com

2009\03\09@174717 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Eclipse really sucks on the New Hi-tech HI-TIDE, a machine with 2G of RAM still runs very slow. None of machine with 512M RAM can really run this staff.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: cdb <RemoveMEcolinTakeThisOuTspambtech-online.co.uk>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <spamBeGonepiclistspamBeGonespammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 5:15:05 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH



:: Could it be that MPLAB becomes Eclipse based in the future?

The thing that interested me was that the job advertisment included a
requirement for Java - and there is a Java developer in Australia who
has I understand, shown his compiler and Eclipse IDE to Microchip -
Muvium is the compilers name.

Colin
--
cdb, TakeThisOuTcolinEraseMEspamspam_OUTbtech-online.co.uk on 10/03/2009

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2009\03\09@185732 by Joseph Bento

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On Mar 9, 2009, at 3:47 PM, Funny NYPD wrote:

> Eclipse really sucks on the New Hi-tech HI-TIDE, a machine with 2G  
> of RAM still runs very slow. None of machine with 512M RAM can  
> really run this staff.

I'm very much a beginner, though what I appreciate is Hi-Tide will run  
natively on OS-X.  MPLAB requires starting a virtual machine session.

Joe

2009\03\09@192215 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 10:57 PM, Joseph Bento <RemoveMEjosephspamTakeThisOuTkirtland.com> wrote:

> I'm very much a beginner, though what I appreciate is Hi-Tide will run
> natively on OS-X.  MPLAB requires starting a virtual machine session.
>

Java runs on virtual machine as well... (Java VM) Therefre I would not say
that a Java app is running natively on X or Z platform. As far as I know
there is no CPU that is able to run Java bytecode natively anyway. The
VmWare and the VirtualBox runs the OS and the application on the bare
machine with only a small overhead on it. For example on my Ubuntu/VBox
config I do not even feel that the XP/MPLab is running on a virtual machine,
and the CPU is mostly in idle on the host machine.

Tamas
--
Rudonix DoubleSaver
http://www.rudonix.com

2009\03\09@210449 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 5:08 AM, Bob Blick <bobblickEraseMEspam.....ftml.net> wrote:
> Could it be that MPLAB becomes Eclipse based in the future?

Hopefully not. Even though MPLAB has its problems, moving to
Eclipse may not solve the problems. IMHO, it is slow and
bloated.

Xiaofan

2009\03\09@211105 by solarwind

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On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 8:04 PM, Xiaofan Chen <EraseMExiaofancspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Hopefully not. Even though MPLAB has its problems, moving to
> Eclipse may not solve the problems. IMHO, it is slow and
> bloated.
>
> Xiaofan

I agree. MPLAB is pretty snappy and nice. However, it severely lacks
tabbed editor support. I hate having multiple windows. Which idiot
designed that?

--
solarwind

2009\03\09@211343 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 5:20 AM, Funny NYPD <RemoveMEfunnynypdEraseMEspamEraseMEyahoo.com> wrote:
> That's actually bad news for C18 and C30 users.
> Hi-tech did got some advantage on PIC16 and PIC18 C compilor due to
> some of their engineer and advantages on these part of business. But their
> dsPIC30/33+PIC24 C compilor is a loser to GNU GCC. Now, they are part of
> Microchip, which might lead C30 to dead for marketing reason (which is why
> the PICkit2 still cannot debug PIC32, and until last fall, the PICkit2
> couldn't debug dsPIC30Fs).

I would think C30 and C32 will survive. HiTech's compilers for PIC24/dsPIC/PIC32
can not beat GCC based C30 and C32.

Not so sure about C18, most likely they will combine the power of PICC 18 and
C18. PICC for PIC12/16 is the best. So Microchip will have the best compilers
across the board.

Maybe it is bad news for 3rd party developers. But it is a trend that many
MCU vendors (exclude 8051 and ARM MCU vendors who rely on Keil/IAR/etc)
to be self-sufficient in the compiler offerings.

Xiaofan

2009\03\09@213532 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Eclipse based HI-TIDE is even worse.
I think the MPLAB is still usable on most of the machines even though it is getting bigger and bigger with the recent V8.xx.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancspam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <RemoveMEpiclistTakeThisOuTspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 9:04:48 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 5:08 AM, Bob Blick <EraseMEbobblickspamspamspamBeGoneftml.net> wrote:
> Could it be that MPLAB becomes Eclipse based in the future?

Hopefully not. Even though MPLAB has its problems, moving to
Eclipse may not solve the problems. IMHO, it is slow and
bloated.

Xiaofan

2009\03\09@214545 by solarwind

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On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 8:13 PM, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> I would think C30 and C32 will survive. HiTech's compilers for PIC24/dsPIC/PIC32
> can not beat GCC based C30 and C32.

Yep. Those two are awesome.

> Not so sure about C18, most likely they will combine the power of PICC 18 and
> C18. PICC for PIC12/16 is the best. So Microchip will have the best compilers
> across the board.

Agree here as well. PICC for <= PIC16F is really good from HITECH.
After that, Microchip compilers are a lot nicer.

2009\03\09@214937 by Funny NYPD

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>Which idiot designed that?
You won't like the new HI-TIDE neither.
But on the old HI-TIDE V1.2x, it is very well designed for multiple window coding, and it never fails. I still cannot find anything (even close) to replace it for high efficient coding. It is a pity, Hi-Tech dropped this in-house developed good product around the year of 2004 and moved toward the "beautiful and useless" Eclipse.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: solarwind <x.solarwind.xSTOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <spamBeGonepiclistSTOPspamspamEraseMEmit.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 9:11:02 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH

On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 8:04 PM, Xiaofan Chen <KILLspamxiaofancspamBeGonespamgmail.com> wrote:
> Hopefully not. Even though MPLAB has its problems, moving to
> Eclipse may not solve the problems. IMHO, it is slow and
> bloated.
>
> Xiaofan

I agree. MPLAB is pretty snappy and nice. However, it severely lacks
tabbed editor support. I hate having multiple windows. Which idiot
designed that?

--
solarwind

2009\03\09@221122 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Mar 9, 2009, at 6:34 PM, Funny NYPD wrote:

> I think the MPLAB is still usable on most of the machines

Well, as long as they run Windows. :-(

One of the things I'd hope for from the Hi-tech acquisition is support  
for more host OSes.  Especially linux (but a linux implementation  
should give you a "mostly acceptable" MacOS implementation "almost for  
free" (runs under X windows.))

I Hi-tide/Eclipse always slow, or are people mostly complaining about  
trying to run it on the same small/old systems that the older IDE  
worked on?

BillW

2009\03\10@010340 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 10:11 AM, William Chops Westfield
<EraseMEwestfwspamEraseMEmac.com> wrote:
>
> On Mar 9, 2009, at 6:34 PM, Funny NYPD wrote:
>
>> I think the MPLAB is still usable on most of the machines
>
> Well, as long as they run Windows. :-(

With HiTech, the compilers will run under Linux and Mac OS X now.

> One of the things I'd hope for from the Hi-tech acquisition is support
> for more host OSes.  Especially linux (but a linux implementation
> should give you a "mostly acceptable" MacOS implementation "almost for
> free" (runs under X windows.))
>
> Is Hi-tide/Eclipse always slow, or are people mostly complaining about
> trying to run it on the same small/old systems that the older IDE
> worked on?

Actually Eclipse is not really the issue here. If Microchip develops
console version driver for the debuggers/programmers, people can
use any IDE they like.

In the end, whether to support Linux and Mac OS X is the
business decision of Microchip. If they decide to support
Linux and Mac OS X, then they have many ways to do that.
Console version of the compilers are already there. So
the easiest way is to develop a console version of the
debugger/programmer driving program.

As for that business decision, I think maybe Mac OS X
will get something earlier, it is not as fragmented as Linux
and has more market share in the desktop world. Desktop
Linux is still a long long way to go.

Xiaofan

2009\03\10@074830 by olin piclist

face picon face
solarwind wrote:
> I agree. MPLAB is pretty snappy and nice. However, it severely lacks
> tabbed editor support. I hate having multiple windows. Which idiot
> designed that?

Wow, you must really think you're important if MPLAB was designed by idiots
just because it's missing <insert your pet feature here>.  There are
certainly a few things I'd like to add/change about MPLAB too, but overall
it's a nice and very usable piece of work.

As for tabbed editor support, I thought it did have that.  I wouldn't know
for sure since only idiots edit in MPLAB anyway (see how this works if you
continue your attitude?).


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2009\03\10@095731 by joseph

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>As for tabbed editor support, I thought it did have that.  I wouldn't know
>for sure since only idiots edit in MPLAB anyway (see how this works if you
>continue your attitude?).

Perhaps he should spend some time using edlin.

Joe




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2009\03\15@035737 by Giant Panda

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It's great if we can got the free version of Hi-tech. :)

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 4:28 AM, Tamas Rudnai <@spam@tamas.rudnai@spam@spamspam_OUTgmail.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2009\03\15@101902 by Funny NYPD

picon face
That's out of the question, you will pay more after this combination.
What's the purchase for? More profit and revenue.
Who is going to pay? End users, you and me.
I am not excited for this marriage at all, less competition means worse product and higher price in the future.

Funny N.
Au Group Electronics, http://www.AuElectronics.com




________________________________
From: Giant Panda <.....pandaspam_OUTspamprotectanimals.com>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <TakeThisOuTpiclist.....spamTakeThisOuTmit.edu>
Sent: Sunday, March 15, 2009 3:56:51 AM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Microchip purchased HI-TECH

It's great if we can got the free version of Hi-tech. :)

On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 4:28 AM, Tamas Rudnai <TakeThisOuTtamas.rudnaiKILLspamspamspamgmail.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2009\03\15@143429 by Vitaliy

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Funny NYPD wrote:
> That's out of the question, you will pay more after this combination.
> What's the purchase for? More profit and revenue.
> Who is going to pay? End users, you and me.
> I am not excited for this marriage at all, less competition means worse
> product and higher price in the future.

Funny,

Not necessarily. Remember that Microchip's main business is selling silicon.
To them, the development tools is just something that helps them sell more
silicon. They already provide MPLAB and several compilers essentially free
of charge, and I have a feeling they're barely breaking even (or worse) on
some of their development tools and development boards.

They may choose to provide the compiler for free, thus creating *more*
competition in the market. Of course, they may also choose to charge more
for the compiler, but that situation seems unlikely.

Vitaliy

2009\03\18@142418 by Alden Hart

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Vitaly - I do hope you are right that Microchip will offer the compiler
for free (or at least at a very low price). Microchip is losing ground
fast to chip families that have well supported open source and free
compiler options - just look at the Atmel and the Arduino phenomenon,
Texas Instruments MSP340 to name two. As I work on projects that I want
to open source, I have a hard time putting a PIC out there.

Please, please correct me if I've missed some OS compiler option, but I
have not found it, at least or the larger chips.

Alden


Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\03\18@154955 by Vitaliy

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Alden Hart wrote:
> Vitaly - I do hope you are right that Microchip will offer the compiler
> for free (or at least at a very low price). Microchip is losing ground
> fast to chip families that have well supported open source and free
> compiler options - just look at the Atmel and the Arduino phenomenon,
> Texas Instruments MSP340 to name two. As I work on projects that I want
> to open source, I have a hard time putting a PIC out there.

Alden, my comments are pure speculation. I don't know what Microchip's
intent is, but they seem to be pricing dev tools at or below cost. They are
not in the business of selling dev tools, they're in the business of selling
silicon. Microchip seems to understand better than the other companies that
providing integrated solutions (as opposed to relying on third party tool
providers) makes business sense.

Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking about?
Tens of thousands?


> Please, please correct me if I've missed some OS compiler option, but I
> have not found it, at least or the larger chips.

Sorry, I'm not sure what you mean. They do offer free compilers (C18 and
C30). They're not "free" in the open source sense, but as a hobbyist you
don't have to pay to use them.

VItaliy

2009\03\18@175318 by John Day

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At 03:48 PM 3/18/2009, you wrote:
>Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking about?
>Tens of thousands?

Yes, and that's per year for several suppliers.

2009\03\18@191810 by Vitaliy

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John Day wrote:
>>Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking
>>about?
>>Tens of thousands?
>
> Yes, and that's per year for several suppliers.

Compared to billions of PICs. I think that "Microchip is losing ground fast
to chip families that have well supported open source and free compiler
options" is a gross exaggeration.

Things may have changed recently, but I remember Microchip folks boasting
that every year they are capturing a greater and greater market share from
Motorola and others.

Vitaliy

2009\03\18@194255 by Alden Hart

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That figure agrees with my information. I know some outlets that sell
more than 10,000 Arduino boards per year. That"s before you talk about
the shields and other after-market addons.

Alden

John Day wrote:
> At 03:48 PM 3/18/2009, you wrote:
>  
>> Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking about?
>> Tens of thousands?
>>    
>
> Yes, and that's per year for several suppliers.
>
>  

2009\03\18@194426 by Alden Hart

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OK, point taken.

Alden

Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2009\03\18@210310 by Matt Pobursky

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On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 16:17:04 -0700, Vitaliy wrote:
> John Day wrote:
>>> Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking
>>> about? Tens of thousands?
>>>
>>
>> Yes, and that's per year for several suppliers.
>>
> Compared to billions of PICs. I think that "Microchip is losing ground
> fast to chip families that have well supported open source and free
> compiler options" is a gross exaggeration.
>
> Things may have changed recently, but I remember Microchip folks boasting
> that every year they are capturing a greater and greater market share
> from Motorola and others.

I was going to respond in kind. I seem to recall reading at the beginning
of the year that in the 8 bit world (which is hugely the large volume spot
on the low end) that Microchip was way way way out in front of whoever was
in 2nd place. The other big volume seller in the microcontroller world was
the ARM7/9/Cortex-M3 end of the spectrum which also shipped in the billions
last year.

That jives pretty well with where all my design activity has been the past
two years -- PICs for the low end 8 bit stuff, MSP430s for the really low
power stuff and ARMs of various flavors for anything above a mid-range PIC.
Interestingly, this past year was a good year for me with PIC designs. I
have a new customer in the agriculture business that will use about 75-100K
PICs this year. They never used PICs before I took over doing their design
work so that's a nice (fly speck!) gain for Microchip...

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2009\03\18@212224 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
Matt Pobursky wrote:
> Interestingly, this past year was a good year for me with PIC designs. I
> have a new customer in the agriculture business that will use about 75-100K
> PICs this year. They never used PICs before I took over doing their design
> work so that's a nice (fly speck!) gain for Microchip...
>
> Matt Pobursky
> Maximum Performance Systems
>

Wow! That's around 350-400 pics a day five days a week for a year.
Lemme guess... you are not hand soldering these any more?

Seriously, are you getting these done locally? abroad?  somewhere else?

2009\03\18@214334 by John Day

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At 07:17 PM 3/18/2009, you wrote:
>John Day wrote:
> >>Regarding the Arduino phenomenon, what kind of volumes are we talking
> >>about?
> >>Tens of thousands?
> >
> > Yes, and that's per year for several suppliers.
>
>Compared to billions of PICs. I think that "Microchip is losing ground fast
>to chip families that have well supported open source and free compiler
>options" is a gross exaggeration.

Well, fortunately that wasn't my assertion originally!

Yes, simple open-source initiatives like the Arduino and its clones
are having a great deal of success. But their success will be vastly
more important in years to come. Because this is a platform that is
targeted at an educational setting. The benefit of this placement,
the fact that Arduino comes not from the electronics or
microprocessor realm but from the design and educational world is
giving it a very solid base upon which it is building.

But vastly more important in the shorter term is the design wins.
Five years ago, by volume, Microchips wins had an annual volume of
about 5 times that of Atmel. But of course at that stage Atmel was
young. But in 2009 in some major markets Atmel is expected to have
double the annual production in design wins that Microchip will have.
Interestingly the reasoning is simple.

Microchip has a good cross section of product, particularly when it
comes to putting things like USB and Ethernet in micro's. Until
recent time they didn't have a processor in the 32 bit market, they
still don't have CAN Bus or Ethernet in 32 bits and they don't have
processors with EBI's either. The PIC32 sits somewhere around the
basic ARM7TDMI level of sophistication, but with nothing like the
breadth of offering. At the same time Atmel has not only introduced
the next generation of the AVR - the Xmega - but they already have
the generation beyond that in the AVR32, especially with the UC3A and
UC3B variants. Atmel, TI, NXP and ST Microelectronics all have
offerings that parallel Microchip, but then they go on to broadly
featured devices which Microchip has yet to try and compete with and
then on into the 80mips plus entries into the embedded Linux world.
Things like the ARM9, AVR32, ARM-Cortex, ARM-11 all offer paths that
go where the market is leading.

And all of that is before we hit one of the major growth sectors -
soft cores. All the major FPGA manufacturers now offer soft cores
ranging from 8051 look-alikes right up to big PowerPC types, and
including ARM cores as well as totally new types. Just recently
Altera added an MMU to the NIOS-II IP catalog, thus enabling Wind
River to announce in the last few days full embedded Linux support.

Microchip has done an amazing job form a standing start behind the
likes of Intel, Motorola and others back in the 70's and has left
many of them behind. But one major issue challenges Microchip - as
users move up scale they are forced to leave Microchip and go to
other processors. Microchip must then work very hard to replenish
their customer base.

Other suppliers like Atmel, TI, NXP, ST and to some extent Freescale,
can take a user from tiny little processors all the way up. As
Microchip lose users at the top end because they don't have the
offering, others pick them up.

There was a lot of sense in the Microchip attempt to get their hands
on Atmel. Many people didn't think it made sense, but the reality is
that an acquisition like that would have given Microchip a solid
roadmap going forward. Unless they can find another acquisition of
that class they are going to need to put the skates on and come up
with some viable new processors. Microchip isn't about to disappear,
even if they do nothing new they will be here for a lot of years yet.
But in overall market terms they are becoming less and less relevant very day.

I should qualify my remarks by saying I use Atmel, Microchip, NXP,
Freescale and Altera processors in my professional life.
Interestingly, from our point of view, Microchip is losing momentum
with us because for EVERY other processor we use we have GNU based
compilers and the Eclipse IDE. Our software engineers are inherently
lazy, they don't take kindly to learning new environments. So if
something doesn't have GNU/Eclipse they cmapaign pretty hard against it.

John



>Things may have changed recently, but I remember Microchip folks boasting
>that every year they are capturing a greater and greater market share from
>Motorola and others.
>
>Vitaliy
>
>

2009\03\18@232022 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM, John Day <RemoveMEjohn.dayspamspamBeGonesiliconrailway.com> wrote:
> Microchip has a good cross section of product, particularly when it
> comes to putting things like USB and Ethernet in micro's. Until
> recent time they didn't have a processor in the 32 bit market, they
> still don't have CAN Bus or Ethernet in 32 bits and they don't have
> processors with EBI's either. The PIC32 sits somewhere around the
> basic ARM7TDMI level of sophistication, but with nothing like the
> breadth of offering. At the same time Atmel has not only introduced
> the next generation of the AVR - the Xmega - but they already have
> the generation beyond that in the AVR32, especially with the UC3A and
> UC3B variants. Atmel, TI, NXP and ST Microelectronics all have
> offerings that parallel Microchip, but then they go on to broadly
> featured devices which Microchip has yet to try and compete with and
> then on into the 80mips plus entries into the embedded Linux world.
> Things like the ARM9, AVR32, ARM-Cortex, ARM-11 all offer paths that
> go where the market is leading.
>

Atmel is good in terms of technology and product ranges. They
should have concentrated on Microcontrollers and scaled back
from other business. I think Atmel is going toward better path
now.

Microchip is very good in terms of execution. They are getting
bigger now and start to enter the higher end market. Unfortunately
I think it is too late and PIC32 is too lonely. It would be much
better if they use ARM based core (Cortex M3 and now M0).
But higher end market takes more time to be in good shape.

> Other suppliers like Atmel, TI, NXP, ST and to some extent Freescale,
> can take a user from tiny little processors all the way up. As
> Microchip lose users at the top end because they don't have the
> offering, others pick them up.

TI seems to be slow in the ARM MCU side. ST/NXP/Atmel are
faster. Freescale is offering good product and looks quite
interesting especially in the higher end. But NXP and Freescale
are both not in good shape in terms of finance. So Microchip
may have some time to catch up.

Xiaofan

2009\03\19@001117 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 18:22:20 -0700, Marcel Duchamp wrote:
> Matt Pobursky wrote:
>> Interestingly, this past year was a good year for me with PIC designs.
>> I have a new customer in the agriculture business that will use about
>> 75-100K PICs this year. They never used PICs before I took over doing
>> their design work so that's a nice (fly speck!) gain for Microchip...
>>
>> Matt Pobursky
>> Maximum Performance Systems
>>
>
> Wow! That's around 350-400 pics a day five days a week for a year. Lemme
> guess... you are not hand soldering these any more?
>
> Seriously, are you getting these done locally? abroad?  somewhere else?

Yeah, most of the PICs are in sensors that generally get sold a dozen or
two at a time to end users (farmers). Dealers typically buy several hundred
at a time. My customer has a couple hundred dealers worldwide and sells
them direct online too so they add up in a hurry. There are 3 or 4 sensors
of different varieties and they all have similar volumes.

The rest are used in GPS speed and navigation units. This part of the
business is really booming now. They should pass by their initial projected
sales volume for 2009 in about a month or so. They almost can't build them
fast enough.

These PCB assemblies are made locally by a contract manufacturer (who
happens to be a good friend of mine), literally 10 minutes from my office.
Panelized, full surface mount. They leave the contract manufacturer 100%
tested and ready for final assembly. The sensors are encapsulated at my end
customer's facility where they do final assembly, wire harness assembly,
final test and shipping.

Most of the assemblies are fairly low cost -- in fact partly because the J
series PICs are so inexpensive. Most of my designs are manufactured
in the U.S.

I've personally found that if you design for manufacturing up- front,
getting things made in the U.S. is just as cost effective as off-shore for
all but the very highest volume and cheap items.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

2009\03\19@101842 by John Day

flavicon
face
At 11:20 PM 3/18/2009, you wrote:
><<snipped>>
>
>Atmel is good in terms of technology and product ranges. They
>should have concentrated on Microcontrollers and scaled back
>from other business. I think Atmel is going toward better path
>now.

That would certainly seem to be true. Atmel has done far better as
they have concentrated on micro's and their associated products. Once
they manage to integrate the touch sensing products and the new RF
products they have acquired recently things should look even better.
Atmel certainly has a grasp of the technology the market needs. The
biggest problem I see right now is the time it is taking to get some
of those products fully into the market.


>Microchip is very good in terms of execution. They are getting
>bigger now and start to enter the higher end market. Unfortunately
>I think it is too late and PIC32 is too lonely. It would be much
>better if they use ARM based core (Cortex M3 and now M0).
>But higher end market takes more time to be in good shape.

I recall the first time saw the PIC32 information I said "why?". Why
MIPS? Well, at least they came out with USB/OTG on the first chips.
Ethernet and CAN Bus were to be out Q1, but we draw inexorably closer
to the end of Q1 with each day and no sign yet. So we are stuck using
the MCP2515 with the PIC32's.

Of course going to ARM cores would have put Microchip directly in
competition with other big players, possibly not a scenario that
Microchip wanted. But being on your own you also need to be able to
compete on a similar footing. I think THAT is where Microchip have
missed the boat. Right now. alhtough it looks promising (and we have
it on three boards) the PIC32MX doesn't even go head to head with the
ARM7tdmi offerings from Atmel or NXP. Let alone approaching the AVR32
UC3A or UC3B.

><<snipped>>
>
>TI seems to be slow in the ARM MCU side.

TI seems to be getting rather more aggressive. Or they certainly make
more noise when they come knocking at my door. They have new
ARM-Cortex offerings and ARM-9 based products as well as combination
ARM-DSP offerings using their own DSP technology.

>  ST/NXP/Atmel are
>faster. Freescale is offering good product and looks quite
>interesting especially in the higher end. But NXP and Freescale
>are both not in good shape in terms of finance.

Yes, that is certainly interesting. However I suspect I would rather
be talking NXP/Freescale than GM, Ford or Chrysler right now! Right
now we only use one NXP processor, but we use a lot of other NXP
parts, so we keep an eye on what is happening. Should the worst
happen I feel comfortable that the products will go on, just in
different guises. As for Freescale, we have PowerPC's in three
boards, so I keep my fingers crossed there also.

>  So Microchip
>may have some time to catch up.

Yes, let's hope so. For Microchip users it would be good to have a
solid progression path. I think Microchip needs to beef up the PIC32
offerings and then plan "where to next".

John


>Xiaofan

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