What micros do you actually like to work with?

Or, to put it another way, which micros cause you the least grief? And what about those makes them favorites?

I ask because I'm always interested in trying new families, especially ones that come well recommended.

Reply to
Mike Silva
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Hello Mike,

I'll monitor this thread carefully, as I too like to try new families. Bring in the cheap dev kits! :D

My call:

- TI MSP430, for its very clean, lightweight architecture.

- Zilog Z8 Encore, once you get past a few quirks caused by upward compatibility with the old Z8s and a sometimes messy documentation. It's quite powerful in its own right, has plenty of peripherals, and doesn't cost much.

I would like to try the Dallas Semi MAXQ at some point, as its architecture is quite original and actually very clever. Everything is register-write triggered! My only real lament is the hardware stack (whine whine -- ANS Forth needs 64 words of program stack, not bloody 16

-- whine some more), but it's not a fundamental architecture flaw, and it could be easily changed in future implementations.

I haven't worked enough with ARMs to emit an opinion. I dislike PICs with a passion, and I have never felt at home with AVRs (sorry Ulf). I'm having less and less interest in wasting time finding ways around 8051s' quirks, although in the right place some derivatives can be really powerful.

Oh, and a side note: I code in assembly, as I like to be on the bare CPU, and I evaluate MCUs in this respect. It's not everyone's cup of tea though...

Regards, D.

Reply to

Oh, sorry I forgot: I'll test-drive the Zilog ZNEO as soon as I'll receive the kit, and it may (or not) win my heart over the MSP430, for its architecture. From what I've seen, they may be playing in the same league.

The MAXQ may also challenge the MSP430, this time on the power consumption grounds. Check the documentation for figures and such.

Regards again, D.

Reply to

I'll toss my hat in for the AVR micros, mostly because they seem to have the best C compiler out there. It seems to be very efficient so I don't feel so bad when not writing in asm. They also have some very powerful hobbiest parts that fit into DIP packages. I did some work with Motorola 68HC11 stuff for awhile, but then I remembered that I don't like pain.

Jason The place where you made your stand never mattered, only that you were there... and still on your feet

Mike Silva wrote:

Reply to

I really like ARM chips. Their architecture is fairly clean and simple to understand. One thing I really like about them is the fact that they have conditional instruction execution. It can make assembly code easier to read and the compiler writers job a bit easier. These would be my 32-bit MCU of choice. I also like the 68K architecture which IMHO was one of the best CISC archs.

For 16-bit/8-bit arena, I am not too sure. I have played with the PIC,

8051 and the MSP430. It is very difficult to decide. Another big player is the AVR, which I personally have not played with. The PIC was alright to program simple applications in assembly and the like (low current too, I was measuring it at ~1 or 2mA full speed 4Mhz 16F628 @ 5V). But I wanted to try my hand at HLL programming on an MCU. Now, I had a firm enough knowledge of the underlying mechanics and the ways C compilers typically implement certain constructs to know that it would not map on to the architecture to well and would make the sometimes necessary task of assembly level debugging a real pain. The 8051 fared better w.r.t C code, but the chip needs quite a bit of power and external support components and needs a large crystal for decent performance (of course, you can get single cycle cores).

The MSP430 on the other hand has a GNU compiler collection compiler readily available. An added plus is that writing startup code is unnecessary. Just write your C code and you are ready to go. It also makes for easy and readable assembly code (quite simple to understand). I haven't really done anything practical with the MSP430 yet, so I can't give you an idea of how the chip worked for me. Also the MSP430 and the ARM have JTAG debug support, for which you only need very low cost debug hardware (a 'WIGGLER' in the ARM case). The 8051 and the PIC on the other hand, will need the use of simulators (or external ICE's).

Other mentions: MAXQ, Freescale's HC(S)08/12 (Freescale makes reputable chips as well)


Reply to
Isaac Bosompem

My criteria is how easy is to produce the practical result.

  1. Atmel AVR
  2. Motorola HCS12
  3. ADI BlackFin

Vladimir Vassilevsky

DSP and Mixed Signal Design Consultant

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Reply to
Vladimir Vassilevsky

"Jason" skrev i melding news:SVDVg.10482$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr13.news.prodigy.com...


Which AVR C compiler are you referring to, Jason?

@Mike Silva: I prefer AVR for 8 bits and ARM for 32 bits.


Reply to
Are Leistad

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