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Microchip's PIC32 : comments needed

Started by whygee January 3, 2008
Hello,

I am interested in many ways by MCHP's new family,
as it seems to adress many of my requirements.
However, this is a brand new thing (understand :
"preliminary") and although MIPS has been around
for ages, the PIC32 is not yet in full production.
Errata and the likes will certainly come in wagons,
this chips is more complex than what i have seen
from this MCHP.

So i turn to this group and ask you all, in all honesty :

  * Have you read the PIC32's documentation,
and/or used it (either the plug-in module or
the starter kit), and what do you think ?

  * How do you compare this first iteration
to other CPU/MCU you already know well ?

  * What are the strengths and weaknesses ?

  * What do you think about the development tools ?
(for example, i have no XP or Vista box,
and buying a $800 computer just for
using a $49 kit is a bit... tough)

I have a lot of ideas where the PIC32 fits
neatly in embedded projects, I hope to get rid
of my barebones and PC104 boards... but this is
not going to happen in one day. Particularly,
prices and costs are displaced where i did not
expect them, and where they annoy me most :-(

Happy new year all,
YG
On 3 Jan, 07:42, whygee <why...@yg.yg> wrote:
> Hello, > > I am interested in many ways by MCHP's new family, > as it seems to adress many of my requirements. > However, this is a brand new thing (understand : > "preliminary") and although MIPS has been around > for ages, the PIC32 is not yet in full production. > Errata and the likes will certainly come in wagons, > this chips is more complex than what i have seen > from this MCHP. > > So i turn to this group and ask you all, in all honesty : > > =A0 * Have you read the PIC32's documentation, > and/or used it (either the plug-in module or > the starter kit), and what do you think ? > > =A0 * How do you compare this first iteration > to other CPU/MCU you already know well ? > > =A0 * What are the strengths and weaknesses ? > > =A0 * What do you think about the development tools ? > (for example, i have no XP or Vista box, > and buying a $800 computer just for > using a $49 kit is a bit... tough) > > I have a lot of ideas where the PIC32 fits > neatly in embedded projects, I hope to get rid > of my barebones and PC104 boards... but this is > not going to happen in one day. Particularly, > prices and costs are displaced where i did not > expect them, and where they annoy me most :-( > > Happy new year all, > YG
I've got the starter kit, it works OK and is a good tool for evaluating the PIC32. It has an expansion connector that could be used for interfacing to external hardware, and one or two people are designing boards for it. It isn't as easy to use as, say, the NXP LPC2000 ARM chips, but it has some advantages over it. Leon
On Jan 3, 2:42=A0am, whygee <why...@yg.yg> wrote:

> =A0 * What do you think about the development tools ? > (for example, i have no XP or Vista box, > and buying a $800 computer just for > using a $49 kit is a bit... tough)
$800? I am using an old HP Pentium III (900MHz Pentium III) laptop I bought off eBay for $70. It came with a licensed copy of Windows 2000, which is adequate for the task. I do not as yet have a compelling application for this particular chip, I have experimented only for the sake of learning a bit about it. I'll consider it for new designs, but likely will continue to use ARM.
hi again,

larwe wrote:
> On Jan 3, 2:42 am, whygee <why...@yg.yg> wrote: > >> * What do you think about the development tools ? >> (for example, i have no XP or Vista box, >> and buying a $800 computer just for >> using a $49 kit is a bit... tough) > > $800? I am using an old HP Pentium III (900MHz Pentium III) laptop I > bought off eBay for $70. It came with a licensed copy of Windows 2000, > which is adequate for the task.
Well, I am currently using a P3 laptop (500 MHz) here, under Debian, and the same, but 700MHz version, under w2k, for some electronics stuffs. The sad fact : MCHP's MPLAB9 does not work/install anymore on w2k (i use the earlier MPLAB7.60 now). And guess what... MPLAB8 is the first version that supports PIC32. I'm screwed and angry. Same with the FPGA proto board that i am currently ordering, and this one is going to suck more RAM than i can afford (after buying the Actel kit, which recommends 2BG, while my best laptop has 256MMB...). Well... I also just got a PicKit2 and this sucker's driver installer wanted w2k SP4 (i'm somewhere in SP3). fortunately, this idiot just looks at the.... InternetExplorer version ! I fortunately figured that editing a stupid key in the registry allowed it to install (from version 5.00.0xyz to 5.01, and it works ok). I guess that it's not going to work with MPLAB8. Oh, and i'm fed up with having to "patch" a proprietary system every time other proprietary (free as in free beer) SW have to be installed. And my computers are getting old. I have almost nothing < y2k :-/
> I do not as yet have a compelling application for this particular > chip, I have experimented only for the sake of learning a bit about it.
What did you try with it ? What succeeded and what failed ? have you found something particularly good or bad ?
> I'll consider it for new designs, but likely will continue to use ARM.
I have looked at ARMs in the last years but have never found something that suits me, or easy-to-obatin chips. I can play with someone else's ARM9 proto board, but the environment (Debian Linux) makes it useless for my application (hard real time stuffs, where 99% of the CPU is needed). With the new PIC32 family, i have the hope that it starts anew, cleanly and that i'll be able to keep up in the future... ARMs are already so developped, and have so many versions, that i can't follow. Finally, being an old MIPS enthusiast, i can't stay calm :-) YG
> ... > Well... I also just got a PicKit2 and this sucker's driver installer > wanted w2k SP4 (i'm somewhere in SP3). > fortunately, this idiot just looks at the.... InternetExplorer version ! > ...
Microsofts dominance has never been just about them making money. They would have never been allowed to be where they are now if that were so. They are all about the public having access only to controlled "computers" (some might prefer the phrase "computerised TV sets"). If someone wants to sell me a chip which comes only with a wintel system attached to it to be usable, well, he fails. There still are other viable options. Microchip going MIPS will make it a lot more difficult to those "other viable options", of course - this core choice puts Microchip out of the "automatically discarded" MCU manufacturer group. It will depend on how many people will be willing to give up some of their toolchains to surrender to what they are allowed to have and use under Vista, hopefully I will not be the only one not needing that to do development work... Dimiter ------------------------------------------------------ Dimiter Popoff Transgalactic Instruments http://www.tgi-sci.com ------------------------------------------------------ http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/sets/72157600228621276/ On Jan 3, 6:37=A0pm, whygee <why...@yg.yg> wrote:
> hi again, > > larwe wrote: > > On Jan 3, 2:42 am, whygee <why...@yg.yg> wrote: > > >> =A0 * What do you think about the development tools ? > >> (for example, i have no XP or Vista box, > >> and buying a $800 computer just for > >> using a $49 kit is a bit... tough) > > > $800? I am using an old HP Pentium III (900MHz Pentium III) laptop I > > bought off eBay for $70. It came with a licensed copy of Windows 2000, > > which is adequate for the task. > > Well, I am currently using a P3 laptop (500 MHz) here, under Debian, > and the same, but 700MHz version, under w2k, for some electronics stuffs. > The sad fact : MCHP's MPLAB9 does not work/install anymore on w2k (i use t=
he
> earlier MPLAB7.60 now). And guess what... MPLAB8 is the first version that=
supports PIC32.
> I'm screwed and angry. Same with the FPGA proto board that i am > currently ordering, and this one is going to suck more RAM than i can affo=
rd
> (after buying the Actel kit, which recommends 2BG, while my best laptop > has 256MMB...). > > Well... I also just got a PicKit2 and this sucker's driver installer > wanted w2k SP4 (i'm somewhere in SP3). > fortunately, this idiot just looks at the.... InternetExplorer version ! > I fortunately figured that editing a stupid key in the registry allowed > it to install (from version 5.00.0xyz to 5.01, and it works ok). > I guess that it's not going to work with MPLAB8. > > Oh, and i'm fed up with having to "patch" a proprietary system > every time other proprietary (free as in free beer) SW have to be installe=
d.
> And my computers are getting old. I have almost nothing < y2k :-/ > > > I do not as yet have a compelling application for this particular > > chip, I have experimented only for the sake of learning a bit about it. > > What did you try with it ? What succeeded and what failed ? > have you found something particularly good or bad ? > > > I'll consider it for new designs, but likely will continue to use ARM. > > I have looked at ARMs in the last years but have never found something tha=
t suits
> me, or easy-to-obatin chips. I can play with someone else's ARM9 proto boa=
rd,
> but the environment (Debian Linux) makes it useless for my application > (hard real time stuffs, where 99% of the CPU is needed). > > With the new PIC32 family, i have the hope that it starts anew, > cleanly and that i'll be able to keep up in the future... > ARMs are already so developped, and have so many versions, that i can't fo=
llow.
> Finally, being an old MIPS enthusiast, i can't stay calm :-) > > YG
This is a good example why Linux is not a good development tool.

Those who preach the benifits of Linux, fail to understand that the 
WinTel enviroment is just easier to use and program in.

I install a application in WinTel and it is ready to use.
Icon on the desktop, examples ready to run.
Without ever seeing it before.

Linux requires you to have a tutor on hand to tell you where the program 
got loaded to.
Someone to tell you where the example file are located.
Someone to tell you where the linker files are located.

There is not one editor to use.
So someone need to tell you where an editor is located, or which one to 
load and you start at the top all over again.

I for one is sick of the M$ tax, but Linux will not ( does not want to 
as far as I can tell) be as simple to use.

donald


On Jan 3, 1:26=A0pm, donald <Don...@dontdoithere.com> wrote:

> I for one is sick of the M$ tax, but Linux will not ( does not want to > as far as I can tell) be as simple to use.
By definition, anyone who is doing embedded development is at least a bit ahead of the "I need an icon to double-click!" mindset. If not, perhaps you're in the wrong profession.
larwe wrote:

> On Jan 3, 1:26 pm, donald <Don...@dontdoithere.com> wrote: > > >>I for one is sick of the M$ tax, but Linux will not ( does not want to >>as far as I can tell) be as simple to use. > > > By definition, anyone who is doing embedded development is at least a > bit ahead of the "I need an icon to double-click!" mindset. If not, > perhaps you're in the wrong profession. >
I am not the only one with this need, or Linux would have more acceptance. But, its does not, enough said. donald
In article <eaa4a16c-30e4-4604-b0a8-4aa05cca6781
@e4g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>, zwsdotcom@gmail.com says...
> On Jan 3, 1:26=A0pm, donald <Don...@dontdoithere.com> wrote: >=20 > > I for one is sick of the M$ tax, but Linux will not ( does not want to > > as far as I can tell) be as simple to use. >=20 > By definition, anyone who is doing embedded development is at least a > bit ahead of the "I need an icon to double-click!" mindset. If not, > perhaps you're in the wrong profession. >=20 >=20
Maybe, but only a fool makes more work for themselves than need be done=20 to complete a task. If you aren't smart enough to surround yourself=20 with the tools and knowledge necessary to efficiently do your job,=20 perhaps you are in the wrong profession.

larwe wrote:

> On Jan 3, 1:26 pm, donald <Don...@dontdoithere.com> wrote: > > >>I for one is sick of the M$ tax, but Linux will not ( does not want to >>as far as I can tell) be as simple to use. > > > By definition, anyone who is doing embedded development is at least a > bit ahead of the "I need an icon to double-click!" mindset. If not, > perhaps you're in the wrong profession.
Donald made a valid point: >>Those who preach the benifits of Linux, fail to understand that the >>WinTel enviroment is just easier to use and program in. The goal of a project is accomplishing something that works. The learning curve only adds to the overhead. Vladimir Vassilevsky DSP and Mixed Signal Design Consultant http://www.abvolt.com