#### surajdn

Joined Jan 5, 2012
1
Hello Everyone,
I may sound very stupid and silly but I am new to the world of ucs... I just learnt programming 8051 at college and I love ucs and I want to get good at it and I am really good at programming what I lack is the knowledge of the hardware part of it. Specially the recently developed technologies in ucs.
Here are my questions:
After using 8051, I really believe that I could do almost anything with just 8051 so I have started to think 8051 is just good enough except when one needs more RAM or speed or ROM and yes the RTC.
So am I right here? Why the PIC family and most importantly whats this arduino thing? why use it when you can do so much with just any other uc? I am so happy with 8051 but I just go dizzy when all the forums are talking so much about so many different ucs. please tell me what I am missing and what I must read. I have just read one book "The 8051 Microcontroller And Embedded Systems Using Assembly And C" by Mazidi. So tell me what other books I MUST read.
I don't know whats I2C and I just know what is ISP.
How does a programmer really put the code into the chip? for example, what ports should be activated? what voltages etc...

#### SPQR

Joined Nov 4, 2011
379
Hi and welcome.

HERE's a little blurb on the Arduino.
It was developed more as an accessible teaching tool in terms of microcontrollers.
Since then it has evolved to be a very reasonable platform that is easy to use and program.

You can get simple projects up and running in less than 10 minutes, and there is no soldering necessary.

There are many different sizes and shapes, so if you just have a few I/O lines, you can use a tiny one, or if you have lots of I/O, you can use a large one - the C code is all the same and very easy to do.

#### ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,271
Hi Noob!

I use PICs so I am most familiar with them. PICs range from tiny 5 pin 8 bit devices with just a couple hundred instruction memory to massive 100 pin 32 bit cores with 512K instruction memories (or greater?) and 128K byte ram.

The huge array of choices means you can find a device with just enough fire power to fit most any application. I've used PICs to run apps from a refrigerator door open beeper (PIC10) to a color graphic touchscreen platform (PIC32).

You can get started for as little as $50 USD and get a programmer plus a built tested board with a button, a pot, some LEDs and an area to wire in your own stuff. The programmer will stay with you for years and you may never need to upgrade it. I2C or IIC (Inter Integrated Circuit) is a 2 wire communication method. One wire is clock, the other data, so 1 master can communicate with up to 127 slave devices over those 2 wires. Look it up on Wikipedia. And welcome to the Forums! #### thatoneguy Joined Feb 19, 2009 6,359 I use PIC as well.$50 for a PICKit 2 w/Demo Board

I use BoostC from sourceboost.com for writing programs. Some of the higher end PICs have a real time clock built in, otherwise it is easy enough to interface with an external RTC module.

IMHO, PICs are a lot cheaper than going the Arduino route, as it's just an IC you can plunk onto a breadboard, with Arduino, you get a new board every time you do a new permanent project in most cases (there are ways around it, but it was designed to be used that way for fast prototypes).

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
25,919
There are literally hundreds of different styles of microcontrollers out there so don't get hung up and restricted to one design.

You will get a lot of responses about Microchip PICs because they are very popular with hobbyists. To balance things I would also recommend you look at others, including Freescale HC08 and MC9S08 family and Atmel AVR family.

Here is an excellent introduction to microcontrollers:

Understanding Small Microcontrollers
http://www.digchip.com/application-notes/8/67559.php

#### Eric007

Joined Aug 5, 2011
1,158
...I've used PICs to run apps...a color graphic touchscreen platform (PIC32).
I would love to try that one day...

#### Eric007

Joined Aug 5, 2011
1,158
Wow...I love it!
When I become a big boy wit PIcs I'll try one of these...

#### @android

Joined Dec 15, 2011
178
After using 8051, I really believe that I could do almost anything with just 8051 so I have started to think 8051 is just good enough except when one needs more RAM or speed or ROM and yes the RTC.
->Yeah. Once you read Mazidi book you fell into love with 8051. Basically the architecture(CISC<->RISC) differs in new uC's as compared to 8051. And also you get free stacks for technology like Zigbee if you go for PIC. So it all comes down to the type of application.

Why the PIC family and most importantly whats this arduino thing? why use it when you can do so much with just any other uc?
->Arduino helps a lot to newbie in this field.

Please tell me what I am missing and what I must read.
->Don't get dizzy. Just surf internet.

I don't know whats I2C and I just know what is ISP.
->I2C is inter IC communication protocol developed by Philips sometimes known as Two wire interface(to save royalty) and ISP is nothing but In-Sytem-Programming

How does a programmer really put the code into the chip? for example, what ports should be activated? what voltages etc...
->You simply need a programmer kit.