Discussion in "General help Guidance and Discussion" started by    Sakis    Dec 1, 2009.
Tue Dec 01 2009, 06:16 PM
#1
Hello,

What are the cons and pros of PIC, ARM and AVR microcontrollers?
Wed Dec 02 2009, 03:10 PM
#2
PIC: Pros - easy to avail, cheap, good support, free tools available, variety of ICs available with selectable features
Cons: Not exactly cons, but some people just dont like it.

ARM: Pros - 32 bit, Fast, powerful, lots of features, easy to program, free & paid both tools available and all are good in their respect, Simple architecture.

Cons: For starters, it may be difficult, but any prior knowledge of controller can help you move. NO DIP Package (I am mentioning this, coz people who are generally migrating from 8-bit to 32-bit find this difficult to handle these small package ICs).

AVR: Pros - Most powerful 8-bit architecture, All variants are loaded with features, free IDE and c-compiler, easy support available, Large community of AVR lovers

Cons: May be difficult for starters, but no cons exactly.
 SakisAbhinav.Chaurey like this.
Thu Dec 03 2009, 04:24 AM
#3



Cons: Not exactly cons, but some people just dont like it.

ARM: Pros - 32 bit, Fast, powerful, lots of features, easy to program, free & paid both tools available and all are good in their respect, Simple architecture.

Cons: For starters, it may be difficult, but any prior knowledge of controller can help you move. NO DIP Package (I am mentioning this, coz people who are generally migrating from 8-bit to 32-bit find this difficult to handle these small package ICs).

Ajay Bhargav


for complex calculations .. nothing is better than an ARM7 based MCU still if you need low power consumption system with a little slow performance acceptable... use PIC.
I simply HATE PICs.
AVR is good but never had to use one,so no comments.
BTW ARM do come in DIP packages!








[ Edited Thu Dec 03 2009, 04:26 AM ]
 Sakis like this.
Thu Dec 03 2009, 04:35 AM
#4
Thanks a lot
Thu Dec 03 2009, 07:45 AM
#5
The only thing i hate about PIC is programming it in assembly.Else i like everything about it.

yeah i also noticed most students hate PIC's. Here in bangalore i think most use only AVR's
thats y i am getting curious about it and hope to know about it some day.
Thu Dec 03 2009, 12:44 PM
#6


The only thing i hate about PIC is programming it in assembly.Else i like everything about it.

jeswanthmg



You can of course program PICs in C.
Microchip do a free version of their full C package.


yeah i also noticed most students hate PIC's.

jeswanthmg


There is a great range of PICs from the 10s series to the 32 series, and it is not
fair to lump them together.

Most student use the 16 series and I wonder why this is,
as the 18 series have more instructions and are easier to use.

I suspect your teachers just want to make things harder for you
Thu Dec 03 2009, 04:05 PM
#7

I suspect your teachers just want to make things harder for you

Ha ha. It's good that I have no teacher to tell me what to use. It was my decision to start with microcontrollers so I decide what to use. Well there were some people who told me to start with "a more basic thing" like 8051 but as always I do not listen to them (sometimes that's bad but some other times it's much better).
Thu Dec 03 2009, 07:37 PM
#8
You can break down the differences between an AVR, a PIC, and an ARM as follows:

The AVR is a Modified Harvard architecture 8-bit RISC single chip microcontroller (┬ÁC) which was developed by Atmel in 1996.

PIC is a family of Harvard architecture microcontrollers made by Microchip Technology, derived from the PIC1640[1] originally developed by General Instrument's Microelectronics Division. The name PIC initially referred to "Programmable Interface Controller".

The ARM is a 32-bit reduced instruction set computer (RISC) instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by ARM Limited. It was known as the Advanced RISC Machine, and before that as the Acorn RISC Machine. The ARM architecture is the most widely used 32-bit ISA in terms of numbers produced.[1][2] They were originally conceived as a processor for desktop personal computers by Acorn Computers, a market now dominated by the x86 family used by IBM PC compatible computers. The relative simplicity of ARM processors made them suitable for low power applications. This has made them dominant in the mobile and embedded electronics market as relatively low cost and small microprocessors and microcontrollers.
 Abhinav.Chaurey like this.
Fri Dec 04 2009, 07:26 AM
#9
Thanks. There's just one problem: I still don't really get the difference between 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers. Is the difference only in the instruction set?
Fri Dec 04 2009, 12:04 PM
#10
There's more than just the instruction set here...

Different processors have different instruction sets - the 8052, the 8080, and the Z80 are all 8-bit processors, yet all have different instruction sets - some instructions are the same, and some are different.

The way to think of differences in 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit processors is the number of bits (like the name implies). An 8-bit processor moves around data (and instructions) only 8-bits at a time. A 16-bit processor, on the other hand, moves around data (and instructions) 16-bits at a time. Same for the 32-bit processor: 32-bits at a time...

So if the base instruction time is the same for all three, you can see how the 32-bit processor could move a 4-byte wide variable from one place to another in the same amount of time it would take the 8-bit processor to do the same thing in 4 time periods, effectively making the 32-bit processor 4 times as fast (for that particular operation)...

This isn't the case for all operations, but you can get the idea here...

There are other things to consider as well - RISC versus CISC - reduced instruction set computers typically combine functions, or speed them up, so they don't take as much time as CISC (complex instruction set computers), thus making them slightly faster for certain operations.

And then there's the memory architecture: Harvard versus Von Neumann - You can Google these to read about them, but basically the Harvard keeps instructions and data in separate areas, and Von Neumann combines them in the same area...

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