Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Chip of choice?

  1. #1

    Chip of choice?

    So the question is, what is your chip of choice? As in which micro's do you favor and why? What languages are used? How much is a single unit? etc.

    I have nearly fully weened myself off of Basic Stamps. The BS2 served as an excellent entry point into simple robotic systems but am now looking to step it up a notch. The wide selection of PICAXE chips I have are great, easy to use, but I fear I will soon run into similar issues. At least they support interrupts.

    Perhaps I need a C-based chip.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    633
    Images
    2
    Rep Power
    60

    Re: Chip of choice?

    I'm a huge fan of 8051- based micro's, although the basic core is over 25 yrs old, it's still widely used today. If that's not a statement, I don't know what is

    Pic microcontrollers do work for me as well, they're good all-round chips with enough choices of peripherals to suit your need, but coming from 8051/8052 they tend to get dissapointing after a while. More code needed for the same purpose, no seperate interrupt vectors etc etc.

    I've heard good stuff about the Arm Cortex core, but haven't used it yet. It's on my to-do list though
    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

    "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve life, press three" - Alice Kahn

    Resistance is futile! (if < 1)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,228
    Images
    155
    Rep Power
    125

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by kankatee View Post
    So the question is, what is your chip of choice? As in which micro's do you favor and why? What languages are used? How much is a single unit? etc.

    I have nearly fully weened myself off of Basic Stamps. The BS2 served as an excellent entry point into simple robotic systems but am now looking to step it up a notch. The wide selection of PICAXE chips I have are great, easy to use, but I fear I will soon run into similar issues. At least they support interrupts.

    Perhaps I need a C-based chip.
    AVR microcontrollers, the ATmega168 is about $4, has 24 I/O, 1 serial port, 3 timer/counter which provide 6 PWM, Interrupts on any channel. The mega324 is about $6 has 32 I/O, all of the above, and 2 serial ports. AVR-GCC is a completely free C compiler. The one tool you will need is a programmer - about $30 - to load code onto the chips. But you only need one programmer for the rest of your life.

    If you are scared about the hardware programmer stuff, you could also get an Arduino, which uses an AVR. About $35, is a mega168. Any code you develop for Arduino can run on pretty much any AVR with only a small amount of work.

    -Fergs

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,228
    Images
    155
    Rep Power
    125

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ScuD View Post
    I've heard good stuff about the Arm Cortex core, but haven't used it yet. It's on my to-do list though
    I wouldn't recommend an ARM for a beginner. Quite a bit more powerful - but way more complicated - than an AVR or PIC.

    -Fergs

  5. #5

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Ferg- What does one need to get started with an AVR? You say a compiler? Got any links to recommended buys?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    633
    Images
    2
    Rep Power
    60

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Quote Originally Posted by lnxfergy View Post
    I wouldn't recommend an ARM for a beginner. Quite a bit more powerful - but way more complicated - than an AVR or PIC.

    -Fergs
    Agreed. Misunderstood the opening post, my bad
    Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity

    "For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve life, press three" - Alice Kahn

    Resistance is futile! (if < 1)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
    Posts
    5,341
    Rep Power
    174

    Re: Chip of choice?

    I'm with Fergs on this one. You need a programmer and a compiler/development environment. Environment/compiler is free: http://winavr.sourceforge.net/ You'd be programming in ANSI C with libraries.

    Programmer - you have some options. You can go all the way to the top-end like I did (STK500) at about $85, or come down from there... The STK500 will let you program ANY AVR, from the smallest <$1.00ATTINY all the way up... You could drop all the way down to an $8 programmer - but you'd need to build your own socket board for programming, realistically: http://robokitsworld.com/index.php?m...eee4mprndredv1

    I'd get a good programmer and never think about it again... The range of AVR chips and what they offer is gihugic. I even use the little ATTINY45 quite a bit - 256bytes of EEProm, 4KB of Flash, 256Bytes SRAM, 6 GPIO, 32 GP Register, an 8bit Timer/Counter w/compare, an 8bit high speed timer/counter, serial interface, both internal and external interrupts, a 4 channel 10bit ADC, a programmable watchdog timer, and three different power-saving modes. All that for only $2.00 in a handy little DIP package.

    Of course, going up you can move to the 640, with 16 ADC 10bit, and a dozens of lines - about $12 Or a 128 with 53 GPIO, 4K RAM/EEPROM, 32 GP registers, RTC, 4x Timer/Counters with Compare and PWM, 2UARTs for serial, two-wire serial, 8 channel 10bit ADC w/differential stage/programmable gain, JTAG, SPI, six power modes, ... <$15.

    Tons of options, tons of performance, very little money after you drop for a good programmer...
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  8. #8

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Ok wait a minute.

    I hear AVR, ATMega, Atmel. Who's who and what's what?

    I looked up the STK500: http://media.digikey.com/photos/Atme...s/ATSTK500.jpg
    Now don't laugh, but I don't see a prototyping area. Can you explain the typical process AVR developers use? Or at least yourself..

    Thanks!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA Area
    Posts
    5,341
    Rep Power
    174

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Atmel makes the ATMega and ATTiny AVR series of MCU.

    An engineer uses that board to program an MCU, then pops it out of the board and moves it over to the circuit, be that a breadboard, perfboard, or printed circuit...

    You can also use that board to read/write an MCU in-circuit
    I Void Warranties´┐Ż

  10. #10

    Re: Chip of choice?

    Yeah, cool.

    You'll be happy to know I just sold my BS2s!!

    $80 for both of them along with a prototyping board. Deal.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Choice of batteries for PC based robot
    By Asimovian in forum Power
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-28-2008, 06:52 AM
  2. How To Radio Control DC Motors Cheaply
    By Al1970 in forum Robotics General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-29-2008, 09:10 AM
  3. Buy The Motor Interface Chip
    By Al1970 in forum Garage Sale
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-25-2008, 02:37 AM
  4. Rabbit I/O Chip
    By JonHylands in forum Arbotix, Microcontrollers, Arduino
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-28-2008, 11:25 PM
  5. Choice of Software
    By fmenier in forum Software and Programming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-22-2007, 11:46 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •