This is kind of funny, considering I've heard this exact argument on why
the 8-bitters were overkill and the 4-bitters (PPS, COP, TMS10000) would
always be there. You just didn't need 8-bits for most control problems.
Appliances could get by fine with 4-bit processors.
Back then, in the 6 micron days (1980), I kind of believed them.
Then that crazy 8051 started taking off.
The king is dead, long live the king.
I think we will see 50cent ARM's in a few years. They were around 10
bucks. They're a few bucks now, and falling, very comparable to AVR, and
now approaching low end PICs.
On Tue, Feb 01, 2005 at 08:47:23PM -0600, Randy M. Dumse wrote:
Sounds good, but does this new chip have the same limitation as the
LPC2106 with regard to the I/O speed? While the main system clock
runs fast, I/O clocking is quite limited, something like 3.8 MHz
regardless of the faster system clock. For a lot of applications,
that makes it not quite so impressive after you take that into
Is that a "feature" of all ARM implementations in general, or just the
BDMICRO - ATmega128 Based MAVRIC Controllers
If you used sdcc which is a freeware ansi complient C compiler for
8052/avr/pic/z80 processors then you would have the best of all
possible worlds with a compiler which is generaly well behaved and
allows you to pick your processor to suit the job.
An indirect reply:
I know that SDCC works well for 8051, and I know that WinAVR (GCC) works
well for AVR. There will be little code that cannot be compiled with both
and nearly all such code will be processor specific anyway (the IO routines
for example) - it should be easy to switch between compilers with the same
code base [I already do this].
I am just a newbie, but I know of a new e-book for sale ( USD$ 29.95 ) that
uses the AVR Butterfly board ( USD$20 from Digi-key.com ), I bought 3 of
them! which is a credit card sized board AVR 169 that has a 5-way joystick,
lightsensor, 4 Mbit flash memory, temperature sensor, speaker, LCD, and
I am waiting for the hard-copy version to be released. The author teaches
you how to install and use the free WinAVR C-based development environment.
All you need is some additional components from an electronics store (
listed at the back of the book) and you have all you need to get started.
Check it out at:
For Microchip PICmicro, there are free (limited to 2kB hex code) C (new),
BASIC and Pascal compilers from
There are also free online books ( a good one for assembler ). A very good
online forum for the BASIC and Pascal compilers.
Hope this helps.
Olimex sells come AVR dev boards too. For about the same price also,
about $15USD. www.olimex.com
Wing Fong Wong
<Nico> wrote in message> What is the best (not expensive) microcontroller development environment
1. Do you need ICE : In Circuit Emulator ? This is hardware which lets you
stop your program at the places you choose and look at your variables. If
you are a newbie or in a hurry, or need insurance, an ICE is required. The
alternative is "Crash and Burn", where you write some code, fiddle until it
works, write some more. People say they don't need an ICE, but I would not
pay someone to spend days finding a bug by trial and error.
2. Only the bigger chips do C++, because of required code memory.
That leaves C for the smaller chips. Let me share a secret : programmer
productivity and quality when using C (and C++) is fairly low, ie you take
more time to produce code with more bugs. This is to do with the C language
itself. There may be screams of outrage from others on this group, but you
can save brain cells, time and quality by using Pascal or even a good
compiled Basic. Don't be too proud.
3. Get the most powerful chip you can : the most RAM, FLASH, EEPROM, speed,
timers, peripherals, ports etc. You aren't going to make 1000 of these, so
saving $50 and spending 2 months extra time is silly.
You can't compare microcontrollers by comparing crystal speed - for example,
the 8051 derivatives are all slow - even the 25 MHz pipelined chips, because
the 8051 has a brain dead instruction set.
4. I am getting a good run from the Atmel AVR chips.
The free GCC compiler is easy to install and use. Google for WinAVR and you
can download the compiler and editor and be running. It is good.
For $450 you can buy the JTAG ICE for AVR - a real In Circuit Emulator.
The AVRs have so much grunt that I write all my interrupt handlers in C.
Not a line of assembler anywhere.
5. Another suggestion altogether : put an old PC motherboard in your
project and forget about microcontrollers. ADC and digital I/O cards for
ISA bus are cheap and easy to program. Program it in Turbo Pascal for DOS
or C++. Easy to debug and fast development.
I like using a simulator and simlate on computer. The one that comes with
the atmel chip works quite well for my puposes. I'm not paid enough to
afford an ICE. I envy those who have access to such hardware. :P
On Tue, Feb 01, 2005 at 07:40:21PM +1100, Roger Lascelles wrote:
For the more budget aware, take a look at the ECROS Technology
JTAGICE clone device for $40. I have one, it works just like the real
thing. It's a great bargain.
You might need to add a small nuclear power plant to power the thing,
BDMICRO - ATmega128 Based MAVRIC Controllers
Get AVR studio which is a free download from Atmel web site. AVR
studio does not include a C compiler (only assembler) but is used for
souce level debugging of C code or Assembly code. A STK500 prototype
board from Atmel is a low cost option to program the AVR devices. A
JTAG debugger is a more expensive option which will also support
For C compiler, I suggest Imagecraft is excellent value for money and
works quite well with AVR studio for simulation / debugging. There is
a 45 day evauation version at www.imagecraft.com
I will be starting Advaced Diploma in Electrotechnology
Electronics/Computing Engineering at Illawarra TAFE at Wollongong next week.
One of my teachers has said to stick with PICmicro, because most of the jobs
here in Oz require PICs. He also advises learning the Motorola 68HC11. He
said to stick with the C compilers for PICs, because he said that if you
said in an interview that you programmed in BASIC they would laugh at you.
He closely follows what is happening down the road at Wollongong University,
which uses C.
It doesn't really matter too much which micro you have experience with,
a good micro designer will be able to easily move between platforms,
especially if you have C experience. But it pays to have played with
multiple platforms so you can show that you have cross-platform
experience. You can't go wrong with knowing PICs though, they aren't #1
C is critical though in todays market, you have to know it. Assembler
experience ain't worth much on it's own if you don't know C.
Yes, BASIC still has a "beginner" stigma attached to it. Although I'd
rather hire a crash hot BASIC programmer over a lousy C programmer any
day. Languages can be taught, the ability to be a good programmer can't
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