[sdiy] Microchip.. for futur projects, choice to do.. PICs or Arduino

Ben Stuyts ben at stuyts.nl
Thu Feb 25 09:53:59 CET 2021

For development environments, I can also recommend Rowley CrossWorks / Segger Embedded Studio. These are commercially supported IDE’s, but with friendly / free terms for non-commercial use. Available for Win/Mac/Linux. They are independent of the chip vendor, so it makes it easier to switch from one to the other. I’ve been using Rowley as my main development environment for many years.

Segger has a very good jtag debugger (J-link) which is available cheap for non-commercial use.


> On 24 Feb 2021, at 23:06, Markus <markusthegeek at yahoo.com> wrote:
> I would also go with the stm32 libs based on Arduino and a blue pill chip to start. Very fast and you can debug if you get a cheap st-link v2 usb adapter and use visual studio code with the Microsoft extension for arduino development. You can still move up to faster stm32 boards like f104...
> All this is super cheap from AliExpress like $2 for the blue pill so same price as arduino nano clones!
> Gruß Markus
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> On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 13:55, Ben Stuyts
> <ben at stuyts.nl> wrote:
> Hi Jean-Pierre,
> Some things to consider:
> The Arduino environment does not support debugging as far as I know. So if you want to set breakpoints, single-step, examine variables, etc, look for a better environment. You can use printf’s to the serial or rs232 port though.
> If you’re up to it, maybe now is a good time to step up to a 32-bit micro. They are often cheaper, much faster, and with more memory and peripherals than the Atmel AVR’s used in the basic Arduino’s. But they have a steeper learning curve than a simple PIC or AVR. A problem might be that they are almost exclusively available only in SMD package. But there are many ready-made boards available with headers for the I/O’s. If you want to try it out, some options are:
> - Cheap Arm boards like the Teensy. They could also be programmed by the Arduino environment if you like that... https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/ <https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/>
> - A Microchip ATSAM Xplained board. These use Arm Cortex micros from formerly Atmel. For example: https://www.microchip.com/DevelopmentTools/ProductDetails/PartNO/ATSAMD20-XPRO <https://www.microchip.com/DevelopmentTools/ProductDetails/PartNO/ATSAMD20-XPRO>
> - A ST Discovery or Nucleo board. For example: https://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/products/evaluation-tools/product-evaluation-tools/mcu-mpu-eval-tools/stm32-mcu-mpu-eval-tools/stm32-nucleo-boards/nucleo-g070rb.html <https://www.st.com/content/st_com/en/products/evaluation-tools/product-evaluation-tools/mcu-mpu-eval-tools/stm32-mcu-mpu-eval-tools/stm32-nucleo-boards/nucleo-g070rb.html>
> Both Microchip and ST boards have an on-board debugger. They have free development environments with support for debugging.
> Ben
> > On 24 Feb 2021, at 22:10, Jean-Pierre Desrochers <jpdesroc at oricom.ca <mailto:jpdesroc at oricom.ca>> wrote:
> > 
> > Hi list,
> > 
> > This is off synth DIY topics (but not as much..)
> > But I'm at a crosspoint here.
> > I've been a Microchip PIC user for many years so far.
> > I've designed many projects around 8 bits PIC16Fxxxx devices.
> > In these last years I used Microchip's development IDE
> > MPLAB IDE then updated to MPLAB X IDE for the last years.
> > These environments are well constructed to work in assembly
> > Or (in my case C code).
> > To me the weak part of Microchip environments has always been
> > Their debuggers (ICD2-3, PicKIT3, etc..).
> > I'm telling that because in the last 4 days I struggled to make
> > my ICD3 debug a PIC16F1783 as it should without success.
> > I posted my issues on Microchip's forum and had 'some' replies
> > Like did you correctly connect your ICD ?
> > or what length of ICD to board cable are you using ?
> > but then... complete silence there..
> > It seems that the interests are mostly aimed to 16 & 32bits PICs.
> > 
> > And... I remembered seeing many posts and videos about how easy
> > it is to use Arduino as a 'bridge' to get a small project done.
> > Free user interface/programming environment available.
> > Final projects on Atmel micros ??
> > 
> > I'm stuck with Microchip unreliable debugging hardware so far.
> > Maybe there are MPLAB IDE compatible hardware debuggers 
> > but I doubt it.
> > So I'd like to hear you about what should I use for my future needs..
> > Again I'm a 8 bits micro user programming in  C.
> > If a good choice of Arduino board would help me to faster
> > develop small projects that would interest me..
> > 
> > Your opinions welcomed.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
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