pic vs avr

not trying to start a war here--
i'm building a robot and i want to program a couple simple microcontrollers to handle low level functions: a gearmotor and two
servos on one, and a controller for an srf04 on another. i/o with a jstamp will probably be done by bit-banging. i basically need good timers or pwm modules and a little bit of flash, ram, and eeprom.
i primarily use a mac, but ive got an old wintel sitting around for when i need it too. pics seem to have more configurations and an abundance of cheap, prebuilt programmers. avrs have a simple programming interface but i want something commercial, not homebuilt.
also the avrs seem to have esoteric product lines...like an entire LCD avr line, a "battery" lcd line, etc.
what are the pros/cons of each w.r.t. a robotics hobbyist? since i will continue to use these on other little projects, a free c compiler would be nice too.
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mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu
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Hi,
Mark Haase wrote:

[...[]
I recommend AVRs. The best thing about them is AVR-GCC, a fairly decent, free C compiler. I think PICs have a few limited demo compilers though. However the free versions can't compare to GCC.
As for programmers, I use an AVRISP. It's a fairly cheap device made by Atmel for in-circuit programming.
AVRs are faster and are pretty nice to program in assembly. However PICs are often easier to get.
cheers,
Al
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Mark Haase wrote:

Both are good parts and either will do the job for you.
I use an AVR because I can program it in C using a compiler that runs on my Linux desktop. Check out http://www.avrfreaks.net before deciding. I got started with the AVR after reading the this article. http://linuxfocus.org/English/November2004/article352.shtml
There seems to *much* more documentation available for the PIC, but a couple of AVR books worth mentioning are: - Programming and Customizing the AVR Microcontroller by Dhananjay V. Gadre, and - AVR, An Introductory Course by John Morton.
good luck Bob
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: not trying to start a war here--
: i'm building a robot and i want to program a couple simple : microcontrollers to handle low level functions: a gearmotor and two : servos on one, and a controller for an srf04 on another. i/o with a : jstamp will probably be done by bit-banging. i basically need good : timers or pwm modules and a little bit of flash, ram, and eeprom.
Any of the micros (but perhaps the Parallax Stamps) can handle that.
: i primarily use a mac, but ive got an old wintel sitting around for when : i need it too. pics seem to have more configurations and an abundance of : cheap, prebuilt programmers. avrs have a simple programming interface : but i want something commercial, not homebuilt.
AVR uses the perfectly fine, and commercial AVRISP dongle via a serial port. Connect up a Keyspan USA 19HS USB/serial adapter to it, run AVR-GCC C compiler and use AVRDUDE downloader and you have the full AVR implementation on a pretty good GNU GCC compiler running natively in the MAC OSX environment. No need for a PeeCee at all. You won't get the AVR Studio, nor any kind of ICE functionality (yet) but you get everything else WITHOUT a Windoze box needed. I have this setup on my iBook running OSX 10.4.2 and it works fine. As for boards to use, Brian Dean has some very nice ATMEGA128 boards with lots of options and functionality. There are other simple demo boards out there too - All work with AVR-GCC.
Oh, did I mention that all of the above are free and open source? You have to drop $50 on the AVRISP, but, eh, TANSTAAFL.
: also the avrs seem to have esoteric product lines...like an entire LCD : avr line, a "battery" lcd line, etc.
Microchip does this too with a "USB" line, a "Ethernet" line, "motor power", etc.
: what are the pros/cons of each w.r.t. a robotics hobbyist? since i will : continue to use these on other little projects, a free c compiler would : be nice too.
I love both of them. I experiment with AVR's and use them in my robotics, I tend to use PIC's (with my PeeCee laptop) for commercial applications because I trust them not to obsolete a device during a project development cycle, which Atmel has yet to prove itself on...
YMMV, IMO etc., DLC
: -- : |\/| /| |2 |< : mehaase(at)sas(dot)upenn(dot)edu
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* Dennis Clark snipped-for-privacy@frii.com www.techtoystoday.com *
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[...]

[...]
I do commercial software development with the above mentioned tools, too, though I have Keyspan USA-28X USB/serial adapters. Works like a charm. I also downloaded the "avra" assembler source from sourceforge, and it compiled "as is" under Fink, and it works just fine.
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