PIC Programming

These days, microcontrollers are universal, and an understanding of at least one family is an essential skill for an electronics engineer. There are many different types of microcontroller out there, all with their pros and cons. And fans and critics. Some people feel surprisingly strongly about microcontrollers!

Most major semiconductor manufacturers offer a range of microcontrollers, but certain microcontrollers are attractive to hobbyists because the development tools are cheap or free, and are easy to use. The two main contenders are Microchip's PIC and Atmel's AVR. When I first decided to teach myself to programme a microcontroller - back in 2001 - I found that the PIC family seemed more accessible, in terms of available information and support, but today that's less clear-cut. I haven't tried programming an AVR yet, so I'm not qualified to advise you - but for a humorous take on this, check out Dave Jones's blog.

  • Getting Started


    This is a series of tutorials that starts with an overview of microcontrollers, leads through programming some existing code into a PIC, introduces the architecture and teaches you how to programme in assembler code.

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  • PIC Applications

    PIC applications

    Coming soon: a range of articles detailing how to use PICs for a wide range of tasks such as talking to LCD displays and controlling modern serially controlled ICs.

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