There’s one element that’s a part of just about every design -- a processor element. That’s a fancy way of saying the microprocessor or microcontroller. While it’s easy to say that most MCUs are similar, there are differences among the various architectures (and sometimes very subtle differences) that can make or break your design.
What is the peripheral mix? How much memory is embedded? How do you relate to the tool chain? Is there an upgrade (or downgrade) path to migrate to for future generations? And so on. Those questions just scratch the surface of how to choose the right processor, because generally, each of the processor vendors can answer those questions within its own offerings.
As a way to assist you in this crucial development stage, we’ve put together a series of classes in our Continuing Education Center that looks at the PIC family of microcontrollers. The lecture series is named Pick (and Implement) the Right PIC MCU. If you’re considering this architecture for your project, I highly recommend you take the time to sit in on this week’s lectures. (Note that the classes are archived, so you don’t have to be there when the live classes occur.)
Find out more about the Digi-Key Continuing Education Center and earning IEEE professional development hours here.
Students find using the 8051 quite easy to program. The labs for the curriculum have the code already developed so all the students have to do is build the assembly source code and program the hex file to the micrcontroller. I provide software design challenges to keep them engage as well duing the lab sessions.
Sure,here is the Wiki page about the description of the controller http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/RM46_HDK_Kit
It comes with a great user manual and Halcogen software, which can help you setup your code very fast and there are detailed videos on youtube on setting up the peripherals as well. Other than that, It has a vast TI forum, In which people give you continuous tech support on your MCUs.
I agree. Universities train Electrical Engineering Students on Assembly Language so the digital circuits they learned can not be integrated into one integrated circuit (microcontroller or microprocessor). The function of these circuits can then be manipulated with Assembly Language which is at a low level of interaction with the device. As you pointed out, new products must be created expediently so they may be in the hands of customers. Therefore, high level languages such as C, C++ expedite the development process so the EE may rapidly build code, test, debug, and ship for production release within a reasonable amount of time.
Thanks for sharing Richard. Mostly the focus of everybody is how to work on PIC architectures, and no one really concentrates on choosing the right PIC. This is really a great opportunity for everyone to learn about the selection of PIC depending on the requirement. This will assist us greatly in acquiring the know-how of different architectures available to be selected for our unique implementation.
I agree taimoortariq. I myself used to prefer coding in Assembly Language when i was doing small scale projects in University, as this increases the learning and gives you deep knowledge of how things work while you code. But coming into the professional life, i guess one needs to save time by switching to more user friendly languages. It's necessary to start coding from assembly language and then moving forward to C, as only then one can know the overall algorithm happening in the backdrop.
I agree. I'm currently teaching my ITT Tech students the 8051 architecture using Assembly language. Your correct, assembly language allows for an indepth analysis of the microcontroller's registers with a view into the binary data that it processes. Also, personally you will have a greater understanding of how high level languages such as "C" can expedite the development of microcontroller based prototypes as well.
I agree. PICs are fun to use and there are such an assortment to chose from. I like PICs because of the great documentation provided by Microchip along with an active forum. I'm looking into teaching my high school electronics tech students the wonders of microcontrollers and the PIC will be one of many devices to train them on in the fall.
I know taimoortariq - call me old-fashioned. Most folks prefer C but I always appreciated the low level control of assembly. When I was a test engineer for a major semiconductor company my software programming language of choice was Testpoint and I was a Certified Testpoint Application Specialist - so I have no objection to mid-higher level languages. Just something about banging bits around in assembly when I'm using microcontrollers is more satisfying :)
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Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.