[sdiy] PIC 16F1788 CPU bug

Michael Bachman bachmanm50 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 30 14:30:25 CET 2013


Agreed..  Microchip support has been fantastic over the years.

We use the PIC line in almost every motor controller we build, from
the smallest e_bike and medical scooter controller to that largest
on-road Electric Vehicle AC motor controllers.  Over  the 20 years,
they have never let us down.  A few bugs here and there, but better
than Siemens*  or Motorola.

We have used the Siemens 16 bit micros, and although a powerful part,
we had to redesign the complete line of controllers due to End Of
Life.  We never had to do this for a Microchip part.

This is why I am using the dsPIC in DIY.

That and the fact that MPLAB software development and debug
environment is decent and low cost.  Compare that to IAR or Keil IDEs
for the SMT32.  We had to pay over $3000 for those.

With all that said though, Microchip dropped the ball with their 32
bit line, and thus my company (and I for the next project) will be
moving over to the Siemens STM32F4 or the Infineon XMC4500 line.


* note that I speak of the support for Siemens parts in the US
compared to the much better support in Germany.  We have a design
office in Switzerland and we had to rely on them to get us answers and
docuements (errata) we could not get  in the states.

On Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 2:15 AM, Tom Farrand <mbedtom at gmail.com> wrote:
> With PICs, select the part after you've looked at the errata of the
> candidates!  Microchip documents their parts'  warts, and while they
> might seem excessively "buggy", they are not.  I won't mention the
> manufacturer that I have found to be the most buggy and the worst part
> is that many of the heinous bugs are not mentioned until you get an
> FAE on the phone.  That was a very sobering experience.  PICs are
> popular for many products because Microchip is very aggressive on
> pricing and they almost never leave you hanging by obsoleting a 3 year
> year-old micro just when you go into production.  The first product I
> put a PIC into was in 1992.  I can still buy a pin-for-pin part today,
> that will work in that product.  And obsolescence is why I tend to shy
> away from FPGAs.  They seem to vaporize with alarming regularity.  I
> don't track FPGAs so I might be mistaken about that but my mailbox
> gets a lot of EOL messages for FPGAs.  Maybe I am just jaded???
> Just my $0.02
> Peace.
> Tom Farrand
> On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 10:18 AM, Paul Schreiber <synth1 at airmail.net> wrote:
>> PIC has a wider selection of parts, from 8-pin 8 bit up to 32bit 200MHz
>> DSPs, all with the same programmers and toolchain. They have DIPs to BGA.
>> But it always boils down to "comfort level" and support. Because PIC is
>> wider used, you have a larger support base.
>> But the advice is well given: ALWAYS check errata. For ALL the suppliers.
>> I've been bitten by STM ARM bugs as well. Microchip is not the only company
>> with silicon errata.
>> Ans in 99% of Microchip errata, they give a 'workaround' of the bug. But in
>> some cases, there isn't one and you have to find another "family member".
>> Also, PIC is about the best in keeping "footprint compatibility".
>> Paul S.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl
>> [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at dropmix.xs4all.nl] On Behalf Of Andre Majorel
>> Sent: Friday, November 29, 2013 9:11 AM
>> To: synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
>> Subject: Re: [sdiy] PIC 16F1788 CPU bug
>> On 2013-11-29 15:35 -0000, Colin f wrote:
>>> Always check the errata, especially with Microchip.
>> This is something that isn't often mentioned when AVR and PIC enthusiasts
>> argue.
>> Everything I've read on the subject suggests that Microchip's
>> microcontroller range is optimised for cheap devices, i.e. lower production
>> cost, while Atmel's is optimised for libre development tools, fewer bugs and
>> better doc, i.e. lower development costs.
>> Seeing as most of us deal with small runs or prototypes, that would make AVR
>> the logical choice. And yet PIC projects seem to outnumber AVR projects.
>> Am I missing something ?
>> --
>> André Majorel http://www.teaser.fr/~amajorel/
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