[time-nuts] I want a good micro-controller

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Sat Aug 16 10:20:36 EDT 2008

Having spent 30 years programming things, let me just add this:

The original PIC chips have a strange software architecture, but
it uses very little silicon real-estate, which is why we suddenly
could program things in DIP-8 format.

If that is your business, they're not bad for the job.

A good example of this kind of application is TVB's PPS divider in
a PIC16F84

Once you get to program your stuff in 'C' or other high level
languages you shouldn't need to bother with the software architecture,
instead concentrate on what I/O, bootloading and what else is

The fact that people program PIC's in BASIC is fine with me, in
fact I think it has gotten a lot of people hooked on programming
who would otherwise never have tried.

If I started a project today, I would seriously consider ARM
chips, which come from very small (LPC2103) and all the way
up to what runs the iPhone and GCC has good arm support.

Olimex.com (resold by sparkfun) has tons of different prototyping
cards with all sorts of chips, browse around and find something you

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

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