Author Topic: Atmel or Microchip  (Read 9423 times)

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Offline paul30003

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Atmel or Microchip
« on: December 19, 2010, 03:26:15 pm »
Hi,

I'm not new to electronics, but I am new to microcontrollers.  Ive been experimenting with the Arduino as an introduction to micro's, but I'm not sure how far I should take this.  I'm not sure what micro i should spend time with.

Should it be with Microchip's pic family of micro's or the Atmel's.

How can I make a decision on which micro to spend my time on.

I don't want to get into low level assembly, so a c environment is essential for the IDE.

Help please.

Thanks
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 04:32:00 pm »
oh dear your opening a can of worms and people at this moment are getting their bazuca's out and firing up the nukes....

from what I hear Atmel are supposed to be faster and I stress "supposed to be" but the atmel support for the hobbiest is not so good

Microchip have a large following and a lot of tools out there.

Either way both lines have all the power you could need so really it's not down to technical specs, with 5 MIPS available from even the lower end chips (2MIPS with internal clock) you will be spoilt either way
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alm

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 06:45:32 pm »
Both are a good choice. Performance is a non-issue in my opinion, if you cared about performance, you'd be using a 32-bit micro (eg. ARM).

Microchip has better availability (AVR availability currently sucks, especially the models used in the Arduino or to hack game consoles). AVR has better open-source tools (using open source compilers like GCC with 8-bit PIC seems to involve a fair amount of work, it works out of the box with WinAVR). For me the latter was the deciding factor. If you don't mind paying for a compiler or don't need optimizations and use Windows exclusively, PIC is a fine solution. PIC has more available models to choose from, for example they have some parts with USB support in DIP, which might be an advantage for those afraid of SMT.
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 06:59:06 pm »
on the programming environment front you may want to take a look at mikroe.com and see what they are offering, they do numerous programming environments for a number of languages for a number of micro controllers. of course others may have more to offer
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Offline tyblu

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 07:38:03 pm »
AVR availability is fixed now. To tell you the truth, getting into either is easy as pie. The choice between them should really be on which unit does what you want it to do. I like the tutorials on AVRFreaks.net and using avrdude, but both the PICkit and AVRISP/Dragon make programming a breeze if you use the native IDE's (MPLAB, AVR Studio).
Tyler Lucas, electronics hobbyist
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 07:54:29 pm »
my current setup is PIC, programming with a PICKIT2 and writing programs in Mokoe Basic (thinking of going to C when I have time) which outputs the HEX file for the PICKIT2, the pickit2 interface allows you to set an autofile change detection so you can plug your pic into the programmer, edit your basic/C/whatever code and build it, the pickit will detect the nex hex file (with the same name) and automatically flash it
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 09:49:21 pm »
on the programming environment front you may want to take a look at mikroe.com
Their AVR compilers are of horrible quality.
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Offline TopherTheME

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2010, 10:00:39 pm »
Flip a coin.
Don't blame me. I'm the mechanical engineer.
 

Offline paul30003

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2010, 10:58:42 pm »
 

alm

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 11:00:21 pm »
on the programming environment front you may want to take a look at mikroe.com
Their AVR compilers are of horrible quality.
I believe the MikroE compilers translate the code to an intermediate language and execute the result on a virtual machine (with horrible performance and code size), and the quality of the libraries isn't too great either. I haven't personally verified this, however. I've never seen the compiler recommended by experienced embedded developers, at least for AVR. Most seem to use gcc, IAR, Rowley or Codevision (which has neat wizards, but the compiler is worse than IAR/Rowley).

Flip a coin.
At least program a PIC/AVR to flip a virtual coin ;). Use both to make sure they aren't biased to recommended themselves. Use an MSP430 to analyze the results.
 

Offline johnmx

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 12:54:36 am »
Microchip it is:
My advice buy a PICKit 3, it’s very cheap yet powerful.
You can buy just the programmer:
http://www.microchipdirect.com/ProductSearch.aspx?Keywords=PG164130

or as a kit (PICkit™ 3 Debug Express). Microchip is offering 20% discount on the kit, check the 1st page of following newsletter:
http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/Market_Communication/December%202010%20Microsolutions.pdf?from=rss

You have another option from Sure Electronics. I have one and it works:
http://www.sureelectronics.net/goods.php?id=1141
Best regards,
johnmx
 

Offline slburris

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 12:59:54 am »
AVR availability is fixed now. To tell you the truth, getting into either is easy as pie. The choice between them should really be on which unit does what you want it to do. I like the tutorials on AVRFreaks.net and using avrdude, but both the PICkit and AVRISP/Dragon make programming a breeze if you use the native IDE's (MPLAB, AVR Studio).

Well, let's just try to get a atmega328p in the DIP package, very popular due to the
Arduinos.  

Checking Digikey, stock is 0.  In fact, I can't even get an estimated ship date for
10 pieces.  Never seen that before.

OK, let's try Mouser.  Nope.  28 week lead time, although they think they will get 10K
on 1/17/2011.  Hmm....

Trying Newark, none there either.  Lead time quoted is 69 days!

OK, trying Arrow.  Nothing there, no lead time.  In fact, they say these chips
are on factory allocation.  Not a good sign.

Well, how about NuHorizons?  No stock, 16 week lead time.

Compared to the PIC parts which you can practically buy at your local
grocery store, Atmel isn't doing so well.  

Scott
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 01:08:53 am by slburris »
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 01:41:26 am »
Compared to the PIC parts which you can practically buy at your local
grocery store, Atmel isn't doing so well.  

I agree.
I'm working on some Arduino compatible designs at the moment and the lack of availability of the devices is a massive concern.
Almost to the point of wanting to abandon the Arduino platform.

Dave.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 01:54:57 am »
Well, let's just try to get a atmega328p in the DIP package, very popular due to the
Arduinos.  

Checking Digikey,Mouser,Newark,Arrow,NuHorizons.
Compared to the PIC parts which you can practically buy at your local
grocery store, Atmel isn't doing so well.  
yup, atmel really sucks on that! better ask this individual to get the supply, instead of those big companies.
thailand based: http://cgi.ebay.com.my/ATMEL-ATmega328-P-PU-Arduino-Bootloader-/220676880275?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33615df793
US based: http://cgi.ebay.com.my/ATmega328-Arduino-Bootloader-/280531786580?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4150ff5b54

and here's the search result on ebay:
http://shop.ebay.com.my/i.html?_nkw=atmega+328&_sacat=0&_sop=2&LH_AvailTo=127&_odkw=atmega+328&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline slburris

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2010, 02:22:47 am »
You know, I used to have no problem buying chips from Ebay sellers.

But every since Sparkfun got burned with the fake Atmel chips,
I'm now thinking twice about buying stuff other than through official
distributors.

Scott
 

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 03:14:12 am »
You know, I used to have no problem buying chips from Ebay sellers.
But every since Sparkfun got burned with the fake Atmel chips,
I'm now thinking twice about buying stuff other than through official
distributors.
Scott
now the official dist. got the plague too! in the latest Dave's digikey vidz.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2010, 12:47:26 pm »
getting a pickit from microchip can prove more exspensive than they make it look. go to farnell, RS, Digikey or who ever
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Offline paul30003

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2010, 08:05:41 pm »
Sounds like the atmega328's are rare as rocking horse poo.  I've got 3,  $100 each if anyone's interested.

I can walk into my local Maplin electronics store, and buy pics over the counter.

 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2010, 08:27:27 pm »
Sounds like the atmega328's are rare as rocking horse poo.


That's an interesting way of putting rare  ;D
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Offline Psi

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2010, 08:35:31 pm »
I can walk into my local Maplin electronics store, and buy pics over the counter.

I bet there's a few pic versions your local store doesn't have in stock either.
It's just that everyone wants the mega328's, cant really blame it for being popular :P
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline paul30003

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2010, 09:07:45 pm »
Sounds like the atmega328's are rare as rocking horse poo.


That's an interesting way of putting rare  ;D

A typical way us pome's describe how rare something is mate!

 

Offline Simon

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2010, 07:53:41 am »
so now what is a pome ?
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Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2010, 08:53:22 am »
so now what is a pome ?
Someone who cares about rocking horse poo.
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Offline Time

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Re: Atmel or Microchip
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2010, 04:53:01 pm »
prisoner of mother england
-Time
 


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