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While some of us are happy to just enjoy the conveniences of things like remote controlled gadgets, some actually want to know how they work and even how to make something out of them using their own two hands. It is for those people that we have created this community  dedicated to the Microchip PIC Microcontroller.
 
Use this community for finding Microchip PIC Microcontroller information, projects, instruction books, projects books, basic book compliers and more. Also come here to find basic and advanced programming instruction to use the PIC Microcontroller.


Microchip PIC Microcontroller
Microchip PIC Microcontroller information, projects, instruction books, projects books, basic book compliers. Come here to find basic and advanced programming instruction to use the PIC Microcontroller. ...

Microchip PIC Microcontroller Gives Big Function to Small Devices

 
In our age of technological wonder, the Microchip PIC Microcontroller is a classic example of good things coming in small packages. A microcontroller makes it possible for your car or truck to adjust its engine automomatically, or for your remote to zap the garage door closed and it even plays a part in some very naughty gadgets…but that’s a whole other article all together!

PIC stands for “Peripheral Interface Controller,” meaning that it’s meant to control smaller, simpler devices, rather than the complex microprocessors that power your personal computer. Microchip PIC microcontrollers originally were developed by General Instruments’ Microelectronics Division, and today are made by Microchip Technology. The device is part of a line of microcontrollers with what’s known as “Harvard achitecture.”

Harvard architecture is a computer design that physically separates the signal pathways for instructions and the storage pathways for data. The term originated from the Harvard Mark I relay-based computer, an early computer with limited storage capacity. This limited capacity mean that programmers had to load and modify the software completely offline.

This inspired the creation of the more complex microprocessors that now power personal computers, but microcontrollers weren’t abandoned. Instead their simplicity was directed toward devices that could be automated for simple functions that didn’t require large amounts of data or fast computational speed.

According to Wikipedia, PIC microcontrollers have decidedly minimalist architecture, with features such as these, among others:

•    Separate code and data spaces (Harvard architecture)
•    A small number of fixed length instructions
•    A single accumulator, the use of which is implied (i.e. is not encoded in the operations code)
•    All RAM locations function as registers as both source and/or destination of math and other functions
•    A hardware stack for storing return addresses
•    A fairly small amount of addressable data space (typically 256 bytes), extended through banking
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These features make PICs quite popular with developers and hobbyists alike. Microcontrollers typically have low cost, wide availability, an extensive collection of application notes, wide availability of low-cost or free development tools, and serial programming capability, along with re-programming using flash memory.

However, PIC Micrcontollers also have some limitations:
•    Only a single accumulator (a register in which intermediate arithmetic and logic results are stored).
•    A small instruction set, which means its uses are limited,
•    Operations and registers are not orthogonal (capable of using any register). Some instructions can address RAM, while others can only use the accumulator.
•    Memory must be directly referenced in arithmetic and logic operations, making programming slower.
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Even with these drawbacks, Microchip PIC Microncontrollers have proven their worth in many of today’s electronic devices, giving digital control to more appliances than ever before. Next time you power up an office machine, a power tool or your kids’ remote-controlled car or that special remote controlled toy you got for your wife -- remember that there’s probably a PIC microcontroller at work!




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