piclist 1998\10\26\233817a >
Thread: Mr. Zhu was:Good news: compatible microchip's products ...
face picon face BY : Sean Breheny email (remove spam text)

Hi all,

At 09:22 PM 10/26/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Let's see if we can follow the logic here.  Company A spends large sums of
>money and precious time developing a product that fits the market very
>nicely.  Their efforts are rewarded by very well deserved financial
>reward.  Company B never had a clue about the ins and outs of the market,
>and has no desire to spend nearly what company A spent.  So they decide to
>put the special product into the copy machine and voila! They have the
>same product that company A worked thair ass off to develop.  Ah, what the
>hell.  Company A has more market and money than they deserve, so screw 'em
>if they don't like it.

I certainly don't want to defend any copiers who just take someone else's
work and run with it, and this certainly seems to be the case with the
"mystery" company in question here, but this reminds me of a remotely
related topic which I'd like to bring up: Just how innovative are pics?
I of course realize that they have been around for a long time, they are
VERY useful, I LOVE them<G>, and they are the only microcontrollers that I
currently use. However, I still have to ask the question, "With today's
technology, can't we greatly improve on the PIC, at least in terms of its
shortcommings?" Also, "Just how much effort, in todays world of computer
based design tools, etc, is it to design a micro like the PIC?" or in other
words, to really play the devils advocate, "Are pics really unique enough
in todays world to consider a similar micro made by another company to be a
copy?" It seems to me that most of what's in a PIC is already in other

I am right now taking an introductory digital design course with a lab
component. The last lab is to design a simple 8-bit microcontroller! There
are also senior EE courses here for which the final project is to design a
full pipelined microprocessor. It seems to me that a student, with the help
of his classes and the design tools currently available (Like Altera
Max+plus) could design a PIC in at most a couple of years. Now, of course,
fabrication, marketing, support, application notes, documentation and all
that's needed to make a micro successful are a far cry from this initial
working design. However, the cost of these additional things would probably
be about the same for a PIC as for a much faster and better chip. Some
examples of this already happening are probably the Scenix.

I must admit to not having any experience in designing and especially
marketing ICs, but it seems this way to me. If I am wrong, someone, please
educate me, I am fascinated by what seems to me to be the relative slow
speed of PIC development and advancement, especially as compared to other
microprocessor areas.

I'm sure this will generate some interesting discussion <VBG>,


| Sean Breheny                  |
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM|
| Electrical Engineering Student|
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See also: www.piclist.com/techref/microchip/devices.htm?key=microchip
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