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PIC Development Help - compiler and IDE

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by js1180, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. js1180

    js1180 Guest

    I am just starting to learn PIC programming. I have some experience with
    Motorola processors so it's not brand new to me. I was wondering what C
    compilers are best for PIC's, what are you guys using. I was also looking
    for an IDE. I am especially interested in low cost products. I have the
    PICKit 2 (USB interface) and the MP Labs IDE. Unfortunately I am having some
    compatibility issues:

    1) The MP Labs IDE does not support the PICKit 2. I have to code in the IDE,
    then switch to the basic PIC programming to write the file. No programming
    or debugging can be done with the IDE.

    2) The Pic lite compiler I have does not support the chip I am using - the
    PIC16F690. Maybe the solution is to create a header file for the specific
    chip. Maybe you know a site that has files like this.

    I was surprised that the package I ordered did not have compatible products,
    all the items were bundled together in a kit. I would like to get it up and
    running because the PIC's have some nice features on them. My plan B is to
    go back to the Motorola chips.

    Thanks for any help.
    js1180, Oct 14, 2005
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  2. You can use MPLAB SIM in the IDE to simulate your code. If you get into
    really complicated projects that require debugging in circuit with various
    peripherals running, you should buy the MPLAB ICD2, which will interface
    directly with MPLAB IDE. You'd then be able to program your PIC and debug
    real time without switching applications.
    The HI-TECH PICC-Lite compiler was purposely crippled so it could be
    released for free. If you want a C compiler for that particular chip, you
    should buy the HI-TECH PICC compiler.

    Personally, I don't recommend that you program PIC16's in C. The PIC16
    architecture isn't optimized for C code. Hand written asm code will likely
    run faster and take less space. If you are bent on using C, I would
    recommend using a PIC18 part instead, which was designed with C in mind.
    (The PICKit 2 may not be able to program PIC18s yet) Also, if you used a
    PIC18 part, you could download and use the Microchip MPLAB C18 C compiler,
    which is a very good C compiler. The free version of C18 disables the
    procedurable abstraction optimization, which is of no consequence unless you
    are completely out of FLASM memory. Otherwise, the free version is
    uncrippled and supports all current and future PIC18s.

    Although I've never used PICC-Lite, my guess is that you would have to
    compile for one of the PICs that are supported in addition to modifying the
    header file.
    The PICKit 2, true to it's name, is a starter kit. PICC-Lite is a 3rd party
    product, so it strikes me as reasonable that it does not support the
    PIC16F690, despite there being a copy of it on the CD. Also, the PICKit 2
    is very new. While it may not be supported in MPLAB IDE yet, full source
    code for the host application and the internal firmware is available, so one
    day it may be interfaceable directly to MPLAB.
    Howard Henry Schlunder, Oct 14, 2005
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  3. js1180

    Kurt Harders Guest

    There are no cheap/free reasonable C compilers for most PICs. As Howard
    wrote, the PIC architecture is not compiler friendly.
    I had a deep look at Motorola and Philips and 8051-processors coming
    from PIC/assembly. I ended up with Atmel AVR-processors and avr-gcc
    using eclipse as IDE. Thats free and works very well.

    Regards, Kurt
    Kurt Harders, Oct 14, 2005
  4. js1180

    Dan N Guest

    On Fri, 14 Oct 2005 05:17:52 +0000, Kurt Harders wrote:

    I ended up with Atmel AVR-processors and avr-gcc using
    GCC is an excellent compiler. I use it for the Hitachi processors. It's
    amazing that something that good is free.

    Dan N, Oct 14, 2005
  5. I have been using the CCS compiler for a few years. It cost $A200, which
    is quite cheap. Works great. You can simulate and step through with MPLAB
    Angelo Fraietta, Oct 14, 2005
  6. js1180

    Kurt Harders Guest

    Hi Dan,

    It has a development of > 15 years with permanent innovation :).

    Regards, Kurt
    Kurt Harders, Oct 14, 2005
  7. js1180

    Neil Kurzman Guest

    I use Hi-Tech C on PIC16's the results are acceptable. Not Very cheap however.
    Neil Kurzman, Oct 15, 2005
  8. js1180

    Alex Gibson Guest

    low cost compilers

    for good number of flash pics -sourceboost/boostc
    has a seperate ide or can work from inside mplab

    supported devices
    <http://sourceboost.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=d66ed92e91c3ffefc66c46317b1c96db&showtopic=961does support 16f690

    for 18f only
    microchip C18 compiler free student version
    works from inside mplab.

    Picclite also can work from inside mplab.

    Mplab from microchip - windows only ide includes assembler

    to debug from mplab you need either a microchip idc2 or compatable device

    Getting started with mplab and C18 compiler

    Olimex sells some cheap pic boards and also a icd clone
    much easier to buy online from one of their US distributors
    www.sparkfun.com who also have some very easy to use and
    great little sensor and radio boards

    Futurlec.com have some cheap pic , avr, and 8051 development boards
    Take a look at the Philips lpc21xx range of arm7 chips
    From 2- 64K ram , 32 - 512k flash , 60 or 70MHz , 10 bit adc , dac , pwm

    2148 has usb

    For a cross platform tools and ide use armgcc + eclipse



    One of new micros tini arm or plug an arm modules

    Or one of the many arm7 boards available from Olimex
    (easier to buy from Sparkfun)

    Alex Gibson, Oct 15, 2005
  9. js1180

    jussij Guest

    I was also looking for an IDE.

    Zeus is a language neutral IDE for the Windows platform:


    It has features like class browsing, syntax highlighting,
    smart indent, code folding, project/workspace management,
    integrated version control etc and can be configured for
    almost any language and any tool set.

    Note: Zeus is shareware (45 day trial).

    Jussi Jumppanen
    Author: Zeus for Windows
    jussij, Oct 19, 2005
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