Author Topic: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?  (Read 21196 times)

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Offline legacy

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2015, 01:24:26 am »
a lucky day was the day I got my "Atlas board" from ebay. It's a professional evaluation board for MIPS32R2, also equipped with a pretty FPGA and EJTAG. I was lucky and I got one for 250 USD. I was a student, and I had 2 examinations about architectures plus4 laboratories. We had to study how the pipeline works in details. What I think? This is part of the success of MIPS in academy, for the theory, while Microchip has thought about the practice: cheaper boards, 1:10 of what I payed, smaller and more confortable.
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2015, 01:27:50 am »
i would be  interessted to know what the professor will chose 10years time, about 2025!
2025 sound so futuristic!:)

umm a GameBoy from '90, with this cartridge   :D
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2015, 01:28:44 am »
I agree with everyone here that academics seem to love MIPS. Personally I don't really get it, sure it's simple but I think it's a bland and boring architecture compared to the rest.

I think that if you're teaching architecture, bland and boring makes a lot of sense. Add complications later, but make sure that the students understand the basics first.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2015, 01:30:20 am »
Freescale is another one unknown in the hobbyist market.

They're not interested in small companies, either. "How many thousands are you buying a month?" is the first question they ask when engaging a potential customer.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2015, 02:41:56 am »
Quote
Noone remebers the Z80, once akademias lover boy
Was it?   I went to school back in the z80 heyday (77-81), and while the "lab computers" were all  Z80 CP/M machines, the "Assembly language" class taught IBM360 and PDP11, the "Microprocessor" class taught 6800, and the senior EE class used Intel X86 development boards (too bad that hardly any of the EEs had learned to program, beyond their first year Fortran and Numerical Methods classes.)

Zilog still exists.  And some of those "not popular for hobbyists" Renesas chips are essentially Z80s with bells, whistles, and kludges attached...
 

Offline Tainer

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2015, 04:54:09 am »
Any theories why he would switch in an academic environment?

He already answered this question on HaD.
https://hackaday.io/project/762-teaching-microcontroller-design
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2015, 05:23:46 am »
Quote
breadboarding 50MHz PIC32 MIPS (fastest you can go in DIP)

another good reason
Quote
Vcore decoupling cap

Is this on the Microstick II  ? or would I have to add one on the breadboard?

Thanks for all the good answers.

Everything you need to get started is on the board including a debugger similar in features to the PICKit 3.

The only thing lacking are physical peripherals like LEDs, buttons, pots etc. which are meant to be on your breadboard.

Here's an asteroids game I did on a Microstick http://youtu.be/BXOHyjeLAXM but note that the PIC32 doesn't have DACs, this was done with a PIC24. You'd have to use a couple of PWM outputs with RC LPFs to do this on a PIC32.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2015, 06:05:33 am »
Quote
He already answered this question on HaD.
https://hackaday.io/project/762-teaching-microcontroller-design


His answers:

- Easier to teach.  (I didn't see this one coming)

- PIC32 is a 32-bit M4K MIPS core with good peripherials. It is simple enough to be programmed 'bare metal', but gives a factor of 10 performance increase over AVR.

Thanks Tainer

I hate to ask this (because it will show how stupid I am but..)  what does he mean by "good peripherals" ?   What does "bare metal" mean?

thanks for educating a 68 yo with many dead brain cells.  :-DD   My goal in life is to finish Lab 1  :clap:
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Online andersm

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2015, 06:09:43 am »
"Bare metal" means poking the hardware registers directly, without an operating system or other driver or abstraction layer in between.

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2015, 06:27:27 am »
"Bare metal" means poking the hardware registers directly, without an operating system or other driver or abstraction layer in between.

I guess he's avoiding the dreaded Harmony framework then!

(Harmony is Microchip's "holistic, aggregate approach to creating firmware solutions for embedded systems using Microchip PIC32 microcontrollers", there, now you know. It was first released nearly two years ago and is a framework for abstracting the hardware from the app code. Unfortunately it is often derided as being excessive in its utopian goals, leading to bloated code, using much machine written write-only code, and being a couple of abstractions too far for low end 32 bit microcontroller applications. It's also hellish difficult to pick up.)
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2015, 06:40:00 am »
Quote
I guess he's avoiding the dreaded Harmony framework then!

I saw "Harmony" before but was really afraid to ask any questions about it -  I thought it had something to do with music but I was guessing I was wrong.  :-*
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Offline Tainer

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2015, 07:17:50 am »
His answers:

- Easier to teach.  (I didn't see this one coming)
Easier to tech in comparison to ARM Cortex architectures (which is absolutely true).

Nevertheless, why don't you ask Bruce Land himself? I'm pretty sure he will give a better answer than any of us regarding his decision  :)
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2015, 07:23:20 am »
Yep, moving from AVR(mega/tiny) to a PIC(PIC32) can't be interpreted as a fanboy "PIC WINs" argument.
Since a 32bit PIC is obviously better than a 8bit AVR.

Now, had he moved from a ATMega328 to a PIC10 you could slap him about the head and say "WTF".   :-DD
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 07:28:22 am by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2015, 07:55:59 am »
OP response:
I think these are the answers.  In his AVR class he talks about the crystal and students can change it and remove it, so he warns students to check it before each lab.  I assume the PIC32 does not use a crystal.
Most MCUs can be run without a crystal, using an internal oscillator, the difference is that on more modern ones like PIC32, the internal oscillator is accurate enough for many applications (around 1% from memory), whereas the AVRs have historically had pretty ropey ones (looked at newer AVRs, this may have improved)
Quote
He uses this
http://www.microchip.com/Developmenttools/ProductDetails.aspx?PartNO=DM330013-2

I assume the Microstick II takes care of the decoupling problems ?
Quote
Vcore decoupling cap

Is this on the Microstick II  ? or would I have to add one on the breadboard?


Yes - any devboard will include the essential parts for basic operation
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Offline amyk

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2015, 01:17:34 pm »
I agree with everyone here that academics seem to love MIPS. Personally I don't really get it, sure it's simple but I think it's a bland and boring architecture compared to the rest.

Surely this is a strong positive from the point of view of engineering? Sound engineering should emphasize simplicity, not complexity. There's nothing worse than an engineering project where the designers have decided to make it "interesting".
I think it's too simple of an architecture, so the complexity just ends up in the software instead. What ends up being a single instruction on other architectures (e.g. "bcf PORTB, 1") turns into several on MIPS. They even had to add extra registers for clearing, setting, and inverting bits to compensate. ::)
 

Offline legacy

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #40 on: August 17, 2015, 01:36:25 pm »
well, from the point of view of the assembly-programming, the architecture with the best productivity/complexity, when you do assembly by your own hands instead of C compiling something, is Motorola 68000

Unfortunately from the point of view of ISA ... it makes you to cry a lot if you want to create a 68000-softcore in VHDL (too bloated and complex, 2000 orders more complex than R2K)

A computer science course is a trade off of different things, so we had M68K in our assembly laboratory, and MIPS R2K (with/without the pipeline) in our laboratory of architectures  (FPGA programming, digital design).

That is good for the theory, for the practice, embedded C programming, real world interfacing and controlling, e.g. PID, motor speed, SERVO, greenhouse … whatever, then PIC32 is the best choice.
 

Offline MT

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #41 on: August 17, 2015, 03:49:23 pm »
Quote
Noone remebers the Z80, once akademias lover boy
Was it?   I went to school back in the z80 heyday (77-81), and while the "lab computers" were all  Z80 CP/M machines, the "Assembly language" class taught IBM360 and PDP11, the "Microprocessor" class taught 6800, and the senior EE class used Intel X86 development boards (too bad that hardly any of the EEs had learned to program, beyond their first year Fortran and Numerical Methods classes.)

Zilog still exists.  And some of those "not popular for hobbyists" Renesas chips are essentially Z80s with bells, whistles, and kludges attached...

In the US yes but here no, i think it depends on regions and countries and even from skool to skool, 1980-1984 it was all Z80 for us and few
8031 and 6800.  Our lab and devboard computers was all Z80, Sinclair Spectrums was very popular as home computers as well as 6502.

Yes its amazing Zilog is still around who could have tought that!
 

Offline FrankBuss

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #42 on: August 17, 2015, 04:18:12 pm »
what does he mean by "good peripherals" ?
That's all the hardware modules to the outside the chip has, like integrated serial port (UART), SPI, I2C, ADC, DAC etc.
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #43 on: August 17, 2015, 04:44:34 pm »
what does he mean by "good peripherals" ?
That's all the hardware modules to the outside the chip has, like integrated serial port (UART), SPI, I2C, ADC, DAC [/b]etc.

No DACs on any PIC32s I'm afraid, but yes, in general they are pretty choc full of peripherals, for such a low pin count 32 bit device in DIP. Whether you'd want to attempt to directly bare metal program things like the USB peripheral yourself is another matter though.
 

Online andersm

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #44 on: August 17, 2015, 05:17:49 pm »
Yes its amazing Zilog is still around who could have tought that!
Sorta, kinda. They've gone bankrupt, and been bought and sold several times. I wonder how much of the "old" Zilog still remains within the company.

Offline ez24

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2015, 06:43:05 pm »
what does he mean by "good peripherals" ?
That's all the hardware modules to the outside the chip has, like integrated serial port (UART), SPI, I2C, ADC, DAC etc.

Thanks
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Offline JoeO

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2015, 08:32:38 pm »
$
The day Al Gore was born there were 7,000 polar bears on Earth.
Today, only 26,000 remain.
 

Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2015, 10:55:07 pm »
In my day the 90S1200 was good enuf and we liked it like that. Who needs a stack. I don't need no newfangled extra bits. 8 was and still is good enuf.

And by the way the last post is correct, for the $$$$
Atmel has 32 bit stuff in TQFP that could be mounted on a Chinese adaptor or ordered that way.

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Offline jesuscf

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2015, 05:49:49 am »
> used AVR micros, and for 2015 he switched to PIC32
> I assume all were in DIP packages to be used in breadboards.
> Any theories why he would switch in an academic environment?


My guess:

1) The PIC32 is half the price of the Atmel chip.
2) Cut on students 'recycling' labs code from previous years.

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Offline Brutte

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Re: Why do you think this professor went from AVR to PIC in his class?
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2015, 08:44:47 am »
PIC32 programming and debugging can be made with PICKit2 so (for example under Eclipse) you get essentially all the toolchain for free, no code size limits etc. PICKit2 is one of the cheapest dev tools on the market (that is PIC18F2550 + 4 bjts + crystal) and can not only program and debug PIC8 but also ISP program AVR8 chips. Although not explicitly stated - supplying a school laboratory with PICKit2 + a bunch of PIC8 and PIC32 would cost a fraction of comparable functionality AVR8 set.
 


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