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PICList Thread
'16F877 Evaluation Boards'
1999\06\28@131729 by Ed Edmondson

picon face
Just looking for some input from the group here?  I am looking at designing a
training / evaluation board for the new 877 series processors.  Anyone have
any suggestions on what might be included on the board to enhance its'
usefulness.  I was putting an RS-232 I/F, an LCD display (20 characters by 2
or 4 lines), LDO regulator, Fuse, Expansion connectors, ICD port, and RTC.

Any comments, suggestions, interest in this board?  If these is enough
interest I will have enough made to sell (at cost) to anyone interested.

Regards,
Ed

1999\06\28@140658 by eplus1

flavicon
face
DISCLAIMER: The following is based on idle thought and may very well be
completely screwy...

Crazy idea but....

I've been thinking for a long time that a great differentiator for a
training/demo board would be the inclusion of an FPGA and some standard
routines etc.. necessary to program it from the PIC. It would allow the
board to be used for almost anything without additional hardware. One
standard .inc could configure the FPGA as a serial to parallel or parallel
to serial converter to greatly increase the available IO and do so in
intelligent ways (UART, PIO, FIO, FIFO, buffer, and maybe even network
protocols like CAN or TCP/IP down the road). Counters and timers could be
made as wide as necessary by another. You can scale your RTC with it. The
use of a serial PROM to hold the initial programming for the FPGA could
allow it to "boot up" in a mode that makes it the programmer for the pic
from a serial or parallel port. VGA or video out with a resistor or two with
the timing and memory in the FPGA. http://www.xess.com has this and I think
it makes them absolutely unique. Unfortunately, they are very, very short on
examples.

The point is not to hype the board as a FGPA experimenter kit (because most
are afraid of FPGAs and don't have the tools etc...) but instead to use it
as a way of listing a great huge list of "support hardware" that comes with
your board and to keep adding to that list as you write new .include files
without changing the PCB. Scenix is making great strides with their "Virtual
Peripheral" idea. This would be an "Actual Peripheral" (after virtual
reality comes actual reality, "you feel the wheel vibrate in you hands
because... your actually holding it...") <G>

You would need to make sure that you select an FPGA that allows for the
outputs to tri-state based on an input since that is one of the big
advantages of having programmatic control of the IO pins or make sure that
it can be programmed via I2C so that only 2 PIC pins are used.

If you make it for $100 or less I will buy it... no... no... on second
thought, you would have to use an SX chip... I can't deal with debugging
PICs.

James Newton, webmaster http://get.to/techref
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspamgeocities.com <.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@geocities.com>
1-619-652-0593 phone



> {Original Message removed}

1999\06\28@161714 by l.allen

picon face
>
> If you make it for $100 or less I will buy it... no... no... on
> second thought, you would have to use an SX chip... I can't deal
> with debugging PICs.
>

Am I the only one or are there other people out there that are sick of
anti-PIC put downs on this PICLIST? Basically Im feed up with the
smart arse comments from those reviling the PIC... get a life guys and
a different LIST !

Lance

1999\06\28@170258 by Don McKenzie

flavicon
face
Ed Edmondson wrote:
>
> Just looking for some input from the group here?  I am looking at designing a
> training / evaluation board for the new 877 series processors.  Anyone have
> any suggestions on what might be included on the board to enhance its'
> usefulness.  I was putting an RS-232 I/F, an LCD display (20 characters by 2
> or 4 lines), LDO regulator, Fuse, Expansion connectors, ICD port, and RTC.
> Any comments, suggestions, interest in this board?  If these is enough
> interest I will have enough made to sell (at cost) to anyone interested.

There is something similar to this at:
http://www.dontronics.com/dt106.html

Don McKenzie  donspamKILLspamdontronics.com http://www.dontronics.com

Don's Download Dungeon:   http://www.dontronics.com/download.html
Australian Electronics Ring http://www.dontronics.com/aering.html
Win $500USD Cash. Micro design contest:  http://www.simmstick.com

1999\06\28@180459 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Lance,

Well, I agree that the PICLIST is not the place to make purely disparaging
remarks about PICs, BUT, I don't have anything against someone saying that
they prefer a particular micro for a particular application.

Sean

At 08:15 AM 6/29/99 +1200, you wrote:
>Am I the only one or are there other people out there that are sick of
>anti-PIC put downs on this PICLIST? Basically Im feed up with the
>smart arse comments from those reviling the PIC... get a life guys and
>a different LIST !
>
>Lance
>
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1999\06\28@183618 by Larry Fostano

picon face
So what do you project the cost to be,I AM INTERESTED AS A FIRST TIMER.

1999\06\29@001807 by Tjaart van der Walt

flavicon
face
Lance Allen wrote:
>
> >
> > If you make it for $100 or less I will buy it... no... no... on
> > second thought, you would have to use an SX chip... I can't deal
> > with debugging PICs.
> >
>
> Am I the only one or are there other people out there that are sick of
> anti-PIC put downs on this PICLIST? Basically Im feed up with the
> smart arse comments from those reviling the PIC... get a life guys and
> a different LIST !

I'll bite.

You are probably not. It does not mean you are right (or wrong).
Mchip has the mid-end market by the short&curlies because of
unrealistic and blind brand-loyalty bordering on religion by some.

Mchip is screwing us over with their prices. You can say what
you like, but that burny feeling up your ass is the *fact*
that you are paying double for Mchip than for better AVR parts.
Instead of spin doctors and lawyers, Mchip should employ more
engineers.

Only by investigating other avenues, will this shitty attitude
change. I really like PICs, but they are not the only ducks in
the pond. If an engineer has a teary-eyed devotion to a particular
brand, he'd either be on your way to another career, or not be
doing his job.

--
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1999\06\29@020036 by Bob Blick
face
flavicon
face
Yeah, you tell 'em, Tjaart! Microchip is working their way into a niche
market. There are lots of people who support that niche, but some are
beginning to feel an itch. There are too many other players in this market
now for Microchip to sit on their laurels.

On the other hand, I am waiting for the dust to settle before I decide to
switch horses. Luckily the end product is expensive enough that the extra
price for a PIC is not significant in the things I design. But an extra
dollar(or several) will eventually make me switch. I can imagine how it is
for people designing low margin products with lots of competition.

Cheers,
Bob

{Quote hidden}

1999\06\29@030837 by Graeme Smith

flavicon
face
Hm... How about an IR interface.... IRDA?? so those with IR output on
their laptops can talk to it, via lightwaves??

                               Grey

GRAEME SMITH                         email: grysmithspamspam_OUTfreenet.edmonton.ab.ca
YMCA Edmonton

Address has changed with little warning!
(I moved across the hall! :) )

Email will remain constant... at least for now.

1999\06\29@032927 by Tjaart van der Walt

flavicon
face
Bob Blick wrote:
>
> Yeah, you tell 'em, Tjaart! Microchip is working their way into a niche
> market. There are lots of people who support that niche, but some are
> beginning to feel an itch. There are too many other players in this market
> now for Microchip to sit on their laurels.
>
> On the other hand, I am waiting for the dust to settle before I decide to
> switch horses. Luckily the end product is expensive enough that the extra
> price for a PIC is not significant in the things I design. But an extra
> dollar(or several) will eventually make me switch. I can imagine how it is
> for people designing low margin products with lots of competition.

I was gunning for a high-volume application on the Scenix using
a command parser, but it turned out that the external RAM would
have made it unfeasable. It was a real let-down, but maybe next
time.... We are currently bidding for two projects that can run
our products into 100k's per year, so a dollar here and there becomes
a fortune everywhere.

--
Friendly Regards           /"\
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1999\06\29@095523 by jamesp

picon face
Graeme,

Excellent idea.  My hats off to you for the suggestion.  Let's
hope this can become a reality.

                                        Regards,

                                          Jim



{Quote hidden}

1999\06\29@125217 by Bob Drzyzgula

flavicon
face
On Mon, Jun 28, 1999 at 01:15:05PM -0400, Ed Edmondson wrote:
>
> Any comments, suggestions, interest in this board?  If these is enough
> interest I will have enough made to sell (at cost) to anyone interested.

* Room around the PIC site to accomodate an Aries
ZIF socket, and a parallel port programming circuit,
sort of like the Micro Engineering Labs EPIC or the
Parallax/TechTools programmer?  Perhaps the board
could be designed so that it could be used as an extra
general-purpose PIC programming board to have around,
once one is past the eval stage.

* Sockets and/or sites for a external parallel-to-serial
and serial-to-parallel latchs (both hooked on the serial
side to the PIC with 2x8 connection header on the opposite
side), I2C EEPROM, LM34/35.

* Circuit to convert a thermistor value to an analog input
on the PIC, so you can just plug the thermistor into, say,
a screw-down header.

* Site for a general-purpose instrumentation amplifier
(e.g. AD627) and associated gain-setting resistors.

FWIW.

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
RemoveMEbobTakeThisOuTspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\06\29@181856 by Dennis Plunkett

flavicon
face
At 06:11 29/06/99 +0200, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Big bite there Tjaart,
Nice triangular style to the writting there too.
Now it is my turn to byte.
I was quite OK until the last paragraph, Who's attitude is needed to be
changed?
Ducks int the pond, humm in Austrialia that meens women in the sheering shed!

As for the particular brand issue, have you tryed to change some engineers
from Motorola to other brands? Yes I know all the arguments, but often it
is time to market that is the issue, and the time to learn a new processor
costs. OK so I know that you will argue that it only takes a week to get
onto a new processor and arounf 3weeks to learn most of the tricks. That
can cause trouble in that you will often over specify the processor
required and thus increase the cost.

Anyway Tjaart are ypu going to provide a shelter for all the out of work
engineers that would be out of work if they got stuck with your bite?
Perhpas something the size of Australia will do??? :)

Bitting stopped

Dennis


{Quote hidden}

1999\06\30@124306 by Bob Drzyzgula

flavicon
face
On Wed, Jun 30, 1999 at 06:12:29AM +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>
> The attitude in Arizona that they are above competition. Fact
> is, it is partly true because of a lazy attitude on the part
> of us engineers (I include myself).
> ...
> I know it is nearly impossible to get an engineer to look further than
> his desk (I've been trying on the PIClist for months now).

Tjaart,

I write this with some trepidation, for fear of fueling
yet another flamefest. However, I am more concerned that
the flamefests will continue even without my fuel. So I'll
try here to make some sense.

First, it seems to me as if many if not most of the
professional EEs on this list (at least the ones who post)
actually *do* work with more than just PICs, and that they
*do* take cost into account. In response to my question
about the Philips chip yesterday, for example, I got one
response from someone who said that they evaluated it,
liked it, and planned on using it for projects that needed
more memory, but that they would continue to use Atmel
for memory requirements of 8KB and below because it was
cheaper. I think that this sort of frugality is actually
quite common among this audience (all you spendthrifts
out there are welcome to identify yourselves now...).

I would assume that you are taking the high price of
the PICs as evidence that cross-architecture competition
isn't taking place, and that people are being blind to
alternatives. I am not sure that this is an obviously
valid conclusion. All it means is that the demand for
PICs is sufficient to support the prices charged by
Microchip. There are many possible sources that might
contribute to this demand, blind brand loyalty being only
one. There are several others that I can think of:

* Microchip's iron grip on its architecture. Clearly
Scenix is making inroads there, but they are of course
having to be quite careful, and come no where near
matching Microchip's range of devices. This means that if
someone has a PIC-based design, they face a substantial
effort in porting that design to another architecture.
Using portable C code is of course a good way to moderate
this problem, but a lot of people out there just use MPASM
or some other non-portable language, and differences among
built-in peripherals still have to be dealt with. It seems
not to be a coincidence that most of the less-expensive
product options use the 8051 architecture, for within
the 8051 architecture cross-vendor competition is fierce.
Motorola, Hitachi, National, ST and others have a similar
hold on their architectures, and I rarely see those
mentioned as low-price alternatives.

* As we've discussed before, the PIC architecture is
exceedingly beginner-friendly. The documentation is
accessible, programmers are cheap, and introductory books
are plentiful. MPLAB is a pretty darned cool thing to give
away, and the fact that it includes a simulator means that
people can actually get a bunch of exposure to PICs without
spending a dime. PICs are generally available in small,
easy to use DIP packages and require an absolute minimum
of support circuitry to get started. They are available in
small quantities from a variety of sources.  PIC-centric
websites abound, and PIC enthusiasts are famously helpful
and tolerant of beginners.  About the only thing more
beginner-friendly than a PIC is a Basic Stamp, but those
are a dead end for most commercial work. Even then, PICs
are the obvious next step from a Basic Stamp, if for no
other reason than the availability of BS-compatible BASIC
implementations for the PIC.  The fact that PICs are so
beginner-friendly, I would think, is a strong contributer
to the number of designs that start out on a PIC and
would be difficult to move to another architecture. See
previous item.

* There are undoubtedly a number of designs which use MCUs
where the small difference in price is not a factor that
outweighs the cost of retraining or re-tooling.  While this
might be the minority of applications, I have trouble
believing that, when selecting parts for the display
panel in a $500,000 piece of industrial equipment, that
the design staff's familiarity with the device wouldn't
override a moderate price difference.  And as to why the
staff would be more familiar with a PIC, see previous item.

* This list. It is actually kind of scary, to me at least,
to think about venturing out into an architecture that
doesn't come with such a tremendous support structure.

Microchip, I believe, understands the symbiosis among
the factors I've listed above, and actively encourages
and fosters the front-end accessibility of their parts and
tools because they know that they are leading the newbies
into an embrace that will be difficult to leave.

Tjaart, if you want to get people to abandon PICs in order
to drive their price down (and people abandoning PICs is
probably the main thing that will result in lower prices
for PICs, short of another vendor being able to expand the
market for PIC clones -- and they will need to be usable
with the same development tools and drop into the same
sockets, to the point that people would never have had a
question about a 16C877 eval board supporting a competitive
PIC clone), then you have to give them a real alternative
that addresses all or at least most of the reasons why
people use PICs.

One of the things that you have little control over,
however, is the vendor behind the chips that you propose as
an alternative. Last year, Microchip sponsored the Circuit
Cellar design contest, and a whole bunch of really cool
designs got published as a result. This year, Motorola
sponsored the contest for their hot new flash-based
HC908. This was a nice try, but then people couldn't
buy the chips. The number of places one could get them
in onsies and twosies was limited in the first place,
but the supply was constrained on top of that. I guess
the problems got resolved to some extent, and people got
some chips to work with, but it still didn't do anything
to improve MOT's image.

Yes, Scenix has some good compatibility and good
accessibility, but they don't have the broad peripheral
selection.  There are of course a number of 8051 parts
out there, with a staggering selection of peripherals and
memory options. But I don't see the vendors aggressively
wooing the newbies in the way that Microchip does. In
addition, relatively few of them come in small, easy-to-use
packages.  Many of the newer designs are starting to
ship only in QFP or TQFP, and maybe PLCC. 40-pin DIP
is available only for a limited selection of chips,
and smaller DIPs are even more rare. The surface-mount
packages are of course much more appropriate when doing
high-volume designs, but they are hell for a beginner.
Philips' P87LPC764 is a refreshing change in a 20-pin
DIP. But AFAIK, they are only available in OTP, which is
a real drag if you don't have an emulator, even if they
do only cost $1.50 each in volume.

Another thing you might be able to do is to start
an 8051-general mailing list, that isn't tied to any
particular 8051 vendor, and isn't moderated.  Then actively
try to recruit PICLIST members, and members of existing
8051 mailing lists, to subscribe and participate. If
approached the right way, it seems as if it could
be possible to duplicate the success of PICLIST for
something as widely used as the 8051 architecture. Other
possible ways to improve the support structure for the
8051 architecture is to build an extensive 8051-advocacy
website to go with the mailing list. Lists of "ways to
get started", PCB designs for programmers and training
boards, mailing list archives, reviews of design tools,
directories and cross-references of 8051 chips etc.,
would all be helpful on such a site.

One last thing you could possibly do, Tjaart, is to
go out and buy and read a few books by Dale Carnegie.
Mr. Cargegie's advice is timeless and widely applicable,
and I recommend it highly.

My apologies for any errors in the above, or if I have
offended anyone. But I really believe that PIC-bashing
will result in very little change in the prices of PICs,
and that positive, non-judgemental advocacy and support
of an alternative architecture is probably the best way
to attack Microchip's prices. I believe that you are a
real treasure to be contributing to PICLIST, Tjaart,
and I want to say thank you for all I have learned from
your posts. But I do wish you would find a new approach
to your campaign against the high prices of PICs.

Best regards,

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
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============================================================


'16F877 Evaluation Boards'
1999\07\01@004959 by Tjaart van der Walt
flavicon
face
Bob Drzyzgula wrote:
>
<big snip>
I agree with you completely on all the snipped point. You put
it much better than myself too.

{Quote hidden}

I have no quarrel with the PIC or even the architecture.
It (architecture) has proven itself over and over to be
the best road to low-cost solutions. I don't want to push
too hard for discussions on other architectures on this list
because we all know it will eventually end up as pointless
architecture wars. :(

I do feel that Scenix deserves a whole lot of plugging. They
are an independant company and have been bashed (unfairly -
have you read the ludicrous claims?) by Microchip. Their
development system (SX Key) beats the shit out of anything
that Mchip (or any other vendor, for that matter) has
brought out. Having worked with different ICE's in my life,
the SX key is a refreshingly simple, small, and cheap solution.
Even a hobbyist can afford one.

Atmel has gone to great lengths to improve AVRstudio, and it
is showing. It is an obvious rip-off of MPLAB. With the
TinyICE, they will get ahead in that game too.

{Quote hidden}

You'd need a miracle to improve Mot's image! ;)
I have been proposing specific Atmel parts to replace specific
PICs (exam. 90L8535 for a 16$877), but the SX chips are not targeted
as agressively as the Atmel parts (they don't have the same legal
budget of Atmel). Generally the SX chips are more flexible though.
We all snickered softly (and loudly) when the Scenix folks called
their bit-bopping routines 'virtual peripherals'. Truth is, they
are very, very agressively following up on that promise. How
many vendors have you seen who give you the full source for a
software modem? There's even space left to hook in the LCD, keypad
etc code (oops - virtual peripheral).

> Another thing you might be able to do is to start
> an 8051-general mailing list, that isn't tied to any
> particular 8051 vendor, and isn't moderated.  Then actively
> try to recruit PICLIST members, and members of existing
I am not trying to 'steal' PIC users. I am trying to encourage
them to voice dissatisfaction to their Mchip dealers over the
price issue. We need healthy competition. A few weeks ago some
big shot marketing specialist from Mchip came to visit us. I
asked what they were going to do about the fact that the PIC
OTP's are costing twice that of the flash AVR's. He's response
was straight from the manual : "Microchip can compete with
any OTP part of any manufacturer". I said that wasn't competing,
that the statement was not true. He said : "Microchip can
compete with any OTP part of any manufacturer". Deja vu. I was
as mad as a snake. No, madder - he wasted my time by being
unprepared and trying to feed me BS.

> One last thing you could possibly do, Tjaart, is to
> go out and buy and read a few books by Dale Carnegie.
> Mr. Cargegie's advice is timeless and widely applicable,
> and I recommend it highly.
I've been reading Terry Pratchet so far. Hummm. ;)

>
> My apologies for any errors in the above, or if I have
> offended anyone. But I really believe that PIC-bashing
The only time I am offended if I am underestimated. You
are completely right in what you said. You are just much
more diplomatic than myself. Maybe I should read that book.
I am still stuck in the preface of "How to make friends and
influence people" <GRIN>

> will result in very little change in the prices of PICs,
> and that positive, non-judgemental advocacy and support
> of an alternative architecture is probably the best way
> to attack Microchip's prices. I believe that you are a
> real treasure to be contributing to PICLIST, Tjaart,
> and I want to say thank you for all I have learned from
> your posts. But I do wish you would find a new approach
> to your campaign against the high prices of PICs.
Best thing that can happen, is the reason for the campaign
going away.

--
Friendly Regards           /"\
                          \ /
Tjaart van der Walt         X ASCII RIBBON CAMPAIGN
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1999\07\01@020451 by Russell McMahon

picon face
Just a few comments on points raised here.
I'm certainly not a PIC basher - I'm more commenting on some
peripheral points raised.


I do agree that PIC seem to be largely rather dearer than they
"should" be - the 16C505 is arguably the exception.


Didna see Tjaarts post (yet) but Bob's comments are interesting.




From: Bob Drzyzgula <picEraseMEspam.....drzyzgula.org>


>On Wed, Jun 30, 1999 at 06:12:29AM +0200, Tjaart van der Walt wrote:
>>
>> The attitude in Arizona that they are above competition. Fact
>> is, it is partly true because of a lazy attitude on the part
>> of us engineers (I include myself).
>> ...
>> I know it is nearly impossible to get an engineer to look further
than
{Quote hidden}

I use ST6, PIC, Z8 and intend to use AVR "soon".
Also new Philips "LPC" (low pin count) series looks promising.
Philips are subsidising a low cost REAL ICE (real time full speed
trace buffer) for it

The Z8 has an excellent $99 ICE (no real time trace but run to
breakpoints etc).

I am using the Z8 for a largish volume commercial project (50,000pa -
not in the REALLY big league) entirely because it was the cheapest
device I could find that did the job I needed - had to have hardware
PWM. Z8E001 dies this for around $US1 in volume. 16C505 is cheaper
but hasn'r got the hardware PWM. PICs with hardware PWM are much
dearer.

I will still use PICs in future but I think they haven't faced the
relaity of recent price moves for other equally capable devices.
Their support is excellent and resources are good (Zilog is an
eye-opener after Microchip :-)) but the Zilog low cost ICE and IDE
is very very good to get you going.

>* As we've discussed before, the PIC architecture is
>exceedingly beginner-friendly.

I'd disagree. For the "hello world" stuff its oK but I think it's
arcane as you write bigger programs after other more "linear" address
space devices - it does however give you excellent code compactness
as a result. PIC also suffers from having grown from a very very old
design - the double barrel roll required to save context on interupt
is bizarre and is a clear product of not having to do this
way-back-then when there were no interupts. I appreciate MChips
desire to make code backward c ompatible but Scenix seems to have
addressed this very nicely (I haven't USED Scenix personally yet) by
providing a basic context save on interupt. Also, adding things like
a real stack in some versions would allow upwards migration while
allowing older code to run transparently.

> The documentation is accessible,

Very good compared to ... :-)

>programmers are cheap,

Dearer than xxx's ICE/Programmer/...

>and introductory books
>are plentiful.

Agree

>MPLAB is a pretty darned cool thing to give
>away, and the fact that it includes a simulator means that
>people can actually get a bunch of exposure to PICs without
>spending a dime. PICs are generally available in small,
>easy to use DIP packages and require an absolute minimum
>of support circuitry to get started.


Z8 is the same and possibly needs even less startup support.


>They are available in
>small quantities from a variety of sources.

I've had no trouble here on the underside of the world buying PIC,
AVR, ST6 or Z8 in small quantities.

> PIC-centric
>websites abound, and PIC enthusiasts are famously helpful
>and tolerant of beginners.

MUCH better than xxx for who I have yet to find a list (may exist)

>Philips' P87LPC764 is a refreshing change in a 20-pin
>DIP. But AFAIK, they are only available in OTP, which is
>a real drag if you don't have an emulator, even if they
>do only cost $1.50 each in volume.

And see the just out 87LPC767 which adds A2D.
Note as above the real ICE for probably $US150 ish I believe (this
price is 2nd hand from a person who should know - the price may be
wrong) - I
understand that this is a special version of a unit which sells for
about $US800 + ish when supplied in a form suitable for most Philips
8051 series cpus.


>One last thing you could possibly do, Tjaart, is to
>go out and buy and read a few books by Dale Carnegie.
>Mr. Cargegie's advice is timeless and widely applicable,
>and I recommend it highly.


His best advice
(the theme of "How to win friends and influence people")
is

       "be genuinely interested in other people"


- not sure how that applies to any of the above :-)



RM

1999\07\01@022829 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi Russell,

At 05:58 PM 7/1/99 +1200, you wrote:
>>* As we've discussed before, the PIC architecture is
>>exceedingly beginner-friendly.
>
>I'd disagree. For the "hello world" stuff its oK but I think it's
>arcane as you write bigger programs after other more "linear" address
>space devices - it does however give you excellent code compactness
>as a result. PIC also suffers from having grown from a very very old
>design - the double barrel roll required to save context on interupt
>is bizarre and is a clear product of not having to do this
>way-back-then when there were no interupts. I appreciate MChips
>desire to make code backward c ompatible but Scenix seems to have
>addressed this very nicely (I haven't USED Scenix personally yet) by
>providing a basic context save on interupt. Also, adding things like
>a real stack in some versions would allow upwards migration while
>allowing older code to run transparently.
>

I have worked with several micros but the PIC has definately been the one I
have done the most work on. SO, as a result, I have a question about
typical micrcontroller architecture: how many microcontrollers operate at a
constant number of cycles per instruction (except branches)? I find this to
be a real time saver. I have written a fair amount of code for the 68000
series,and I am glad I never had to try to write something isochronous or
an exact delay.

I have also seen some of the MIPS architecture (which, I guess, is as flat
RISC as it gets) but I wonder how many micros in the same class as the
PIC(available in flash and with a small pin count and built-in
peripherals), but which include the features that you want (a real stack,
linear addressing, etc.), also have the constant number of cycles per
instr? Yes, I know that the SX and AVR do, but they don't have a real stack
and linear addressing, do they? (I am familiar with the SX, but not yet
with the AVR)




Sean


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1999\07\01@033213 by Tjaart van der Walt

flavicon
face
Sean Breheny wrote:
>
> I have also seen some of the MIPS architecture (which, I guess, is as flat
> RISC as it gets) but I wonder how many micros in the same class as the
> PIC(available in flash and with a small pin count and built-in
> peripherals), but which include the features that you want (a real stack,
> linear addressing, etc.), also have the constant number of cycles per
> instr? Yes, I know that the SX and AVR do, but they don't have a real stack
> and linear addressing, do they? (I am familiar with the SX, but not yet
> with the AVR)

PIC
---
Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
Stack : No access
Push/Pop : No
Deep : Dependant on part. Max 8 deep.

SX
--
Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
Stack : No access
Push/Pop : Yes
Deep : 8 deep.

AVR
---
Memory : Linear (read : no banking)
Stack : In general purpose RAM
Push/Pop : Yes
Deep : Only limited by RAM size



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1999\07\01@070753 by ruben

flavicon
face
Tjaart wrote,

>
> PIC
> ---
> Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
> Stack : No access
> Push/Pop : No
> Deep : Dependant on part. Max 8 deep.
>
> SX
> --
> Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
> Stack : No access
> Push/Pop : Yes

How is Push/Pop done on a SX?

> Deep : 8 deep.
>
> AVR
> ---
> Memory : Linear (read : no banking)
> Stack : In general purpose RAM
> Push/Pop : Yes
> Deep : Only limited by RAM size
>

One other important (for me) item here is the ability to
access program memory from within the program (for
checksumming program memory and easy table lookup).

Posibility to checksum program memory:

PIC (low and mid range): No
SX: Yes
AVR: ??? I don't know. Anybody else?
==============================
Ruben Jvnsson
AB Liros Elektronik
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmv, Sweden
TEL INT +4640142078
FAX INT +4640947388
RemoveMErubenspam_OUTspamKILLspam2.sbbs.se
==============================

1999\07\01@081454 by Russell McMahon

picon face
From: Sean Breheny <RemoveMEshb7TakeThisOuTspamspamCORNELL.EDU>

>Hi Russell,
>I have worked with several micros but the PIC has definately been
the one I
>have done the most work on. SO, as a result, I have a question about
>typical micrcontroller architecture: how many microcontrollers
operate at a
>constant number of cycles per instruction (except branches)?
New Z8+ core has constant time for ALL instructions including
branches/Jumps.
Or so the manual says. A few don't make sense but I havenm't yet
written code to see if they are lying :-).
eg CALL should take longer but ...
Most other micros have well defined but variable times depending on
op code etc.

>I have also seen some of the MIPS architecture (which, I guess, is
as flat
>RISC as it gets) but I wonder how many micros in the same class as
the
>PIC(available in flash and with a small pin count and built-in
>peripherals), but which include the features that you want (a real
stack,
>linear addressing, etc.), also have the constant number of cycles
per
>instr? Yes, I know that the SX and AVR do, but they don't have a
real stack
>and linear addressing, do they? (I am familiar with the SX, but not
yet
>with the AVR)

Z8+ comes surprisingly close. Addressing is paged but in a much more
graceful way than PICs. You can use various length instructions to
address successively larger addrss areas ot use page pointers.




RM

1999\07\01@094058 by Tjaart van der Walt

flavicon
face
Ruben Jšnsson wrote:
>
> Tjaart wrote,
>
> >
> > PIC
> > ---
> > Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
> > Stack : No access
> > Push/Pop : No
> > Deep : Dependant on part. Max 8 deep.
> >
> > SX
> > --
> > Memory : Piecewise linear (read : banked)
> > Stack : No access
> > Push/Pop : Yes
>
> How is Push/Pop done on a SX?

This is my second reply - Windows crashed just before
I sent my first (makes you wonder, doesn't it ;) )

'PUSH' & 'POP' on the SX is done in the way it should be
- automatically! There are shadow registers that automatically
save the PC, W, FSR, and STATUS registers. This stack runs
independant of the 8 level call stack.


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1999\07\01@111527 by Darrel Johansen

picon face
    PIC
    ---
    Program Memory : up to 2 Mbytes, Linear, readable/writable
    Call Stack : 31 levels, readable/writable
    Address Push/Pop : Yes
    Parameter Stack : 4K, direct and indirect address,
                       3 separate indirect (stack) pointers
    Parameter Push/Pop : Yes
    Code compatible with 16C74
    Enhanced PIC instruction set:
       Single word instructions execute in one cycle (except when prefetch
                                                    flushed)
       4 double word instructions
       9 Branch Instructions
    Priority Interrupts
    Fast Interrupt/CALL stack for auto-context register save/restore,
            independant from normal CALL and Parameter stacks.


    This is for the 18Cxxx parts.

    Darrel

1999\07\01@132906 by ShadeDemon

picon face
>
>      PIC
>      This is for the 18Cxxx parts.

 My turn to be cynical!  Great list, but comparing that
feature list with the 16c877, now I can't wait to see how
the PRICE ends up comparing to the 16c877 and other
manufacturer's parts..
Alan

1999\07\02@015822 by ruben

flavicon
face
Tjart wrote,

{Quote hidden}

Ok, I thought You meant pushing and poping data on the
ordinary call stack under program control.

==============================
Ruben Jvnsson
AB Liros Elektronik
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmv, Sweden
TEL INT +4640142078
FAX INT +4640947388
RemoveMErubenKILLspamspam2.sbbs.se
==============================

1999\07\02@083250 by Eric Oliver

flavicon
face
What's the price and where do you get it ? I thought Digikey carried the entire
PIC line but they have no PIC18s listed.

Eric

On Thursday, July 01, 1999 10:14 AM, Darrel Johansen [SMTP:darrel.johansen@MICRO
CHIP.COM] wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\02@100521 by Darrel Johansen

picon face
Eric Oliver wrote:
>
> What's the price and where do you get it ? I thought Digikey carried the entir
e PIC line but they have no PIC18s listed.

This is a brand new architecture and will not be stocked at Digikey until later
this year (I am not authorized to give you dates).  If you are really
interested, you should contact your Microchip Field Application Engineer.  One
nice thing about these first 18Cxxx parts is that they are pin-for-pin,
instruction-for-instruction drop-in upgrades for 16c7x type products that are
running out of "horsepower" in terms of RAM and ROM.  Of course, you can also
take advantage of the new features by optimizing your code.

Though the initial chips in this series are defined, user's applications will
drive peripherals, etc. on future versions.

--
___________________________
|     Darrel Johansen     |
|     tempe,  arizona     |
|   darreljSTOPspamspamspam_OUTprimenet.com  |
|_________________________|

1999\07\02@123030 by Ben Stragnell

flavicon
face
Darrel,

Any info on the max clock speed for the 18cxxx parts?

Cheers,
Ben

Darrel Johansen wrote:
>
> Eric Oliver wrote:
> >
> > What's the price and where do you get it ? I thought Digikey carried the ent
ire PIC line but they have no PIC18s listed.
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\02@145010 by Darrel Johansen

picon face
    Ben asks:

    > Any info on the max clock speed for the 18cxxx parts?

    Initial specs call for 40 Mhz (10 MIPS).  This is done using an
    internal PLL which is driven by an external 10 Mhz clock.

    Darrel

1999\07\02@161431 by Harold Hallikainen

picon face
On Fri, 2 Jul 1999 09:35:29 -0700 Ben Stragnell <KILLspamsparespamBeGonespamCODEPUPPIES.COM>
writes:
>Darrel,
>
>Any info on the max clock speed for the 18cxxx parts?
>

       The 18CXX2 is rated DC to 40 MHz unless the PLL is running.  Then
it is 4 to 10 MHz.

Harold


Harold Hallikainen
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1999\07\02@171701 by Darrel Johansen

picon face
    Harold Hallikainen writes:

    > The 18CXX2 is rated DC to 40 MHz unless the PLL is running.  Then it
    > is 4 to 10 MHz.

    In both cases, maximum speed is 10 MIPs.  When it is driven by a 10
    MHz external clock with the PLL, the internal speed is 40 MHz.

    BTW, Embedded Systems Magazine reports in the July 1999 issue that I
    received today that the pricing in 10,000 unit quantities for the
    first for parts ranges from $5.98 to $7.41.

    Darrel Johansen

1999\07\02@190202 by Eric Oliver

flavicon
face
> If you are really
> interested, you should contact your Microchip Field Application Engineer.

What's a Microchip Field Application Engineer ? <grin>  I'm a hobbyist ...

I'll just wait and get my news from this list ;) ...

Eric

On Friday, July 02, 1999 8:58 AM, Darrel Johansen [SMTP:@spam@darrelj@spam@spamspam_OUTPRIMENET.COM] wr
ote:
> Eric Oliver wrote:
> >
> > What's the price and where do you get it ? I thought Digikey carried the ent
ire PIC line but they have no PIC18s listed.
{Quote hidden}

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