1. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
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    Hi All,

    I am a PIC micro user and have used PICs for years now. However, I am putting togather a new microcontroller training program and was wondering should I go PIC or AVR - considering the popularity of AVRs because of Arduino. Which of these might make for a better start off microcontroller at this point in time.
     
  2. sanuzr

    New Member

    Mar 29, 2012
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    I will say AVR. Because you have the experience of PIC anyway. Get into AVR.. a new field for you.
     
  3. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    1,008
    351
    Let battle commence!

    Seriously though, presumably you are putting together this training program with an purpose in mind so you need to consider what best fits your learning objectives and your target audience.
     
  4. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,431
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    Seriously, what are you trying to teach? Are you focusing on:

    1) Programming in ASM
    2) programming in C
    3) MCU architecture
    4) embedded systems design
    5) SW/HW project design and integration

    Why limit your choices to PIC and Atmel?
    What about Freescale, Silicon Labs, TI?
    What IDE platform are you planning on using?

    My choice would be MSP430 Launchpad.
     
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  5. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
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    Definitely AVR 100%, final answer.

    You will be doing your students a great service to be teaching them on a platform you have no experience with, where you are as clueless as they are. It is best you all stumble along together to find those subtle little things that can derail a project fast.

    Oh, I'm only kidding. LDO.
     
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  6. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
    603
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    People are waiting for 8-bit MCUs to get extinct, but, for unknown reasons, this doesn't happen and 8-bit MCUs prosper and even grow. If you coninue teaching them to new students, they will never get extinct!!!
     
  7. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    Actually, I love AVR ASM. Just have to get accustomed to the reverse DST <- SRC notation.

    I had migrated from 6805->68HC11->AVR with ease.
     
  8. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    8-bit chips will be around forever because engineers and hardware types love them and programmers don't.

     
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  9. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I had an idea for a little project recently. So I started looking for uC for it. Here is the thing... I want a native/hardware USB support. Guess what? PICs have it (16F and 18F PICs showed up in Microchip tool that helps you select a chip with features you want), AVR mostly don't (the ones that have it are not DIP packages so I would not be able to put it into breadboard and play with it).

    The other news is that PICs don't have good free C compiler. AVR do (avr-gcc).

    So my choices at this point:
    * PIC and MPLab and do it in assembly.
    * AVR and AVR-GCC and do software USB using V-USB.
     
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  10. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Nope, Microchip gives away baseline C compilers free for the download. They also give away sample USB library projects in C that can be used as a running start for many USB applications.
     
  11. josip

    Member

    Mar 6, 2014
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    There are many companies with USB micros, with open source USB stack. For example, TI give you also your USB PID for free...

    VIDs are assigned by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which is the standards body that oversees USB. The vendor can choose to obtain the VID by joining the USB-IF or to license a VID without joining. At the time of writing, the former costs $4000 annually, and the latter costs $3500 for a two-year license. (See http://www.usb.org/developers/vendor/ for more information.)

    Alternatively, TI will license a PID to MSP430 customers for use with the MSP430 VID (0x2047) as part of its VID-sharing program. The license is free, with the basic stipulation that it only be used with TI USB devices. The program is intended to ensure that all MSP430 customers have easy access to a VID when going to market. To obtain a copy of the license, look for the link for this program at http://www.ti.com/msp430usb.
     
  12. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Yes. Baseline. Here is a quote from material that I found while doing a little bit of research:
    "There is a free compiler for PIC available from Microchip, Dan Nguyen writes:

    About the free PIC compiler, you just download it from the Microchip
    website and you can use it in the Microchip MPLAB IDE. IT's actually
    the student version and the only difference is that all features are
    only enabled for the first week
    . After that the only thing that changes
    is you can only have the compiler "optimize" your code to level 2
    instead of all the way- but most of the optimizations aren't needed at
    all and if you like your code to run exactly how you typed it,
    optimizations aren't for you.

    Microchip says it doesn't update it as frequently as the paid version
    (but that's understandable).


    This is from 2012. The source of the quote: http://www.ladyada.net/library/picvsavr.html
     
  13. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    However, if you go to the source itself you'll fine the compilers "Free Edition includes a 60-day PRO evaluation that can be started anytime."

    That is from 2014. In fact, 7/9/2014. That is today. The source of the quote.

    One can get such C compilers for any device Microchip makes, from 10F to PIC32's.

    At one time Microchip also gave away rights for device ID's too, I'm sure they still do if you look hard enough for the permission slip. Jan Axelrod also gives them away if you buy her book.
     
  14. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I was going to use assembly since MPLab provided full time full support, no need for evaluation periods and then loss of features once evaluation period has ended.

    Ok. I am sorry for taking the thread on a tangent. I want to thank josip and ErnieM for the insights. I think I said everything I want to say on the OP topic so I will shut my pie hole and read what others have to contribute to OP topic.
     
  15. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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  16. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    44
    2
    You make it sound like a Pepsi Vs Coke or a Canon Vs Nikon thing... not sure if that is the case already.

    The only thing on the mind is will we see a shift of hobby people from PIC to AVR in a significant way in the next few years... I know that both these are fairly similar in terms of what they can do.
     
  17. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    44
    2
    Fantastic fairy tale... thanks for sharing.
     
  18. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    44
    2
    Other people have answered this...but I am also of the opinion that they wont be extinct in the foreseeable future... so I guess I am safe there.
     
  19. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    44
    2
    The program is start of program into embedded systems, and will mostly touch upon everything you have mentioned. Not the ASM programming though.

    Limited to PIC and AVR because of local availability and similar local reasons.

    IDE not yet decided on that, and it is one of the decision points too.

    Wanted to get a feel of the mood about AVRs and PICs and looks like arduino hasnt helped the AVRs as much as I had assumed.
     
  20. shakilabanu

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    44
    2
    Thanks for that, but is AVR-GCC actively maintained? I did look at it briefly and got an impression that it not maintained anymore.
     
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