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I keep asking the same question myself

:: EPE Chat Zone ­:: ­Radio Bygones Message Board :: » EPE Forum Archives 2005-2006 » Archive through 01 September, 2006 » I keep asking the same question myself « Previous Next »

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Drevil
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 06:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

http://www.8052.com/forumchat/read.phtml?id=123249

But i keep getting told that the pic is cheaper and nobody wants to know about anything better.
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Zeitghost
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Post Number: 326
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 08:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Hear, hear, that man...

I totally agree with him.

As an architecture it is an abomination.

Popular though... for reasons that escape me completely.

It must be the "free" tool chain.
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Dave_squibb
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 08:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

From the same thread!

The PICs are hardware diverse. 16Fxx thru 18Fxx. Tons of ADCs, Timers, DACs, internal crystals, watchdog timers. Etc, Etc, Etc...

The PICs are software diverse. Free IDE MPLAB from manufacture. Free C compilers. Etc, Etc, Etc...

Their architecture is different but they get the job done.

The PICs are much cheaper than the 8051s. Look at this web site. This guy charges only what United States Post Office charges for shipping. http://www.glitchbuster.com/ Look at the PIC chips he sells and compare prices to DigiKey. There a three to one difference. This guy doesn't sell one 8051 IC.

The hobbyist are extremely talented compared to the 8051 crowd. I recently did a LCD 84 X 84 graphical interface and research the web. I couldn't even find one 8051 interface. There were two guys who tried but gave up in failure. They must have been fifteen PICs project complete with schematics and software (both in assembler and c)

The PICs has a thru put rate of 50 MHz incoming frequency count compared to top end 8051 of 2 MHz. The lowly PIC 16F54 can handle counting 50 MHz as a frequency counter (in 1990 even). There is not any 8051 on the market that can even come close to this.

The PIC crowd doesn't tear each other apart like the 80C51 crowd does. One of the favorite sons called somebody lazy and stupid yesterday because he asked for help.

PICs outsell the 8051. They are the number one largest producer of MCUs in the world.

The list could go on and on but I stop here.

Regards,

Charles Bannister
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Grab
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

The PIC16x architecture is certainly pretty bizarre. The memory configuration is wierd, and the SUB commands are peculiar in the way round they work too.

87F51 is rated to 24MHz - there may be faster ones out there. However IIRC each instruction takes at least 8 ticks to complete, so effective speed is more like 3MHz.

But the real reason PICs succeeded is historical. Way back in the early 90s, Microchip were the *only* manufacturer to freely release the programming specs for their microcontroller, and to make programming easy to carry out with minimal hardware. I believe they were also the first to freely release an assembler too, although I couldn't say for sure, but for programming specs that was a world first.

Why did that make a difference? Well, which chip would you rather work with - the one you can program with a freeware PC program, a parallel port and two resistors, or the one that needs £200 of programmer hardware before you can even turn a LED on and off?

*THAT* is why PICs took off with hobbyists. Before the PIC, you either had to work in industry or be a *very* keen amateur to be using microcontrollers, because the £200+ barrier to entry for the programmer hardware was way too much for most folks. Microchip were the first people to realise that there was a significant market for microcontrollers amongst hobbyists, and the result was a revolution in hobbyist electronics. If you don't believe that, compare and contrast EPE articles pre-PIC and post-PIC and see the difference.

Other manufacturers have got wise to that now, so there are other options like Atmel now. But PICs have a huge user base and there's loads of libraries out there to do pretty much anything you want, so it really isn't that easy to dislodge them. If you want someone to put in the time to use something different, you'd better have some significant advantages to offer, and the 8051 and co simply aren't that much better.

Of course, once you're coding in C then you don't need to know the details of the assembler, and chips can simply stand or fall on their peripheral support. We're looking at another revolution underway here in hobbyist stuff, now that SDCC and other cheap/free C compilers are available for micros, because previously a C compiler would cost multiple hundred quid. Microchip have seen this coming and are now producing chips which are better suited to high-level language support than the old 16x series, and are using this opportunity to ditch the bad parts of the old architecture that would hold them back.

The 8051 series is made by too many places to be able to define a new architecture, and as a result it simply isn't going to be able to compete - my bet is that it'll end up a kind of historical curiosity like the Z80, used by a few people due to inertia but consigned to history.

Graham.
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Sounded_simple
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I think microchip were pretty smart in targeting hobbyists but I think they had more in mind than just the hobby market.
I wonder just how many people are pure hobbyists - i.e. never use electronics for some commercial application or in their work.

I think microchip rightly targeted home users and small business (who dont want to fork out big bucks either) knowing that they are potentially the volume users of tomorrow.

For example I started playing around with the microchip ICD at home and then brought that into my workplace. To be honest i never even looked at the alternatives beacuse I heard nothing but microchip - thats strong marketing.

I bet Alan gets a nice christmas box from the guys at microchip!
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Zeitghost
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 12:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

The original Intel 8051 used 12 ticks per instruction... so your 12MHz 8051 had a 1us cycle time...

But there are a vast number of 8051 varieties out there, some of which run at 33MHz with 4 ticks per cycle.

And the 80251 etc.

I know which one I prefer programming.

As it says on the top of an 8051 in my junk box: copyright Intel 1978.

It's been around a looooooonnng time.
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John_becker
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

SS, But how about ME getting that Xmas box, I reckon I do far more to promote PICs than anyone on EPE. And I must admit that I dont often get cooperation from Microchip on the few times I've sort help from their tech dept. They're UK PR agents have been good by & large, but even they cant help on all things I've wanted to get further info on.

Even so, having played with 8051s etc years ago, I'll stick with PICs. And I'd never go back willingly to 6502s and all their external peripherals needed.

J
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Sounded_simple
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Fair point John!
Seriously, EPE do a lot for Microchip.
Im not complaining, I like the fact that the net (and mags) are flooded with PICs.
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Grab
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Posted on Tuesday, 29 August, 2006 - 06:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

Thanks for the reminder Zeitghost. Them were the days...!
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Drevil
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Posted on Wednesday, 30 August, 2006 - 06:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

I hardly think that the 8052 is going to be consigned to history,it is an industry standard with a versatile and simple to program architecture.With several single clock per instruction versions available from the likes of Dallas semiconductor and atmel,low pin count versions from philips and most smart cards incorporating 8052 derivatives,Dallas semiconductor also make special versions designed for extremely high security applications.There are also versions which will run at up to 100Mhz
I work on embedded systems and high speed communications systems and we still use 8052 derivativesfor our 8 bit processing tasks and I don't see that changing
The latest version of SDCC is pretty much comparable with commercal compilers which you would pay several hundred quid for.
The pic is cheap,with a strange architecture,peculiar interrupt scheme,and a mind boggling banking system
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Zeitghost
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Posted on Wednesday, 30 August, 2006 - 09:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

"The pic is cheap,with a strange architecture,peculiar interrupt scheme,and a mind boggling banking system"

You're not wrong there!

One of my students managed to mess up the bank select on one of his assignments.

Took me ages to figure out what was wrong...

Especially since there was no need to do anything to the bank select in the first place.
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Grab
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Posted on Wednesday, 30 August, 2006 - 01:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post

If the architecture has been changed to do single-clock-per-instruction, it's hardly "standard" is it? :-)

I guess there's the answer - manufacturers of the 8051 series will face the future by changing the architecture as needed. Same instructions etc, but working in a different way. In other words, in the same way as Microchip have deleted all those things from the 16x series that you don't like in order to make the 18x series.

And the cost-of-entry issue still applies. Companies with deeper pockets will pay hundreds for a development kit or programmer hardware, and if you've already got the 8052 kit then that's fine. But if you're starting from scratch and deciding which one to use, £200-300 on the programmer hardware may well be a deciding factor, especially if you're a small company, individual, school/university or hobbyist. And as SS says, when you take that experience into industry, if you need an 8-bit micro then you're going to use what you know. Like it or not, Microchip are *already* eroding the market for 8051s and similar chips through that system.

I doubt the 8051 will ever disappear - you can still get Z80s, for heaven's sake! But the 8-bit market is already shrinking significantly, with 16-bit micros pushing down, and that's especially true in industry. So as the industrial side of the 8-bit market dwindles, the low-cost (hobbyist/school/uni/small-company) side is going to become more significant. And on that side, the 8051 hasn't been in significant use for years. Atmel are still providing solid competition for Microchip in that area, but the 8051 simply isn't even in the running.

Graham.

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