From: email@example.com (Bob Wilson)
Subject: Re: really basic questions about pic microcontrollers
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 23:20:35 -0000
Organization: Your Organization
X-Newsreader: WinVN 0.99.9 (Released Version) (x86 32bit)
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
>Hi - could someone please tell me what exactly a PIC microcontroller
>is, and how it is different from a microcontroller. Also, I understand
>PIC microcontrollers to be programmable - how would one go about doing
>this? Is there some special language for them, or can you just use C?
>And how would you load your program into the microcontrollers memory?
>(assuming it has memory) Is there some special device you need for
>this? Thanks so much!
It **IS** a microcontroller. Look at the Microchip website for details (not
surprisingly, it is www.microchip.com).
Like ANY microcontroller, you program it in assembler. As a second choice
for those not interested n learning assembler, you can write the code in a
higher level language (e.g. C++) and use a compiler to crank out the machine
code that is eventually loaded into the chip. This is the lazy man's way
out, in a sense, and has the disadvantage that the resulting code is bulkier
than if you used assembler (hence you may need to use a more expensive
version of the chip with more program memory to hold it).
Also as with any microcontroller, you write the code on your PC using a word
processor, then assemble (or compile, if it was written in C or some other
higher level language) it into machine code. This is then dumped into the
chip using a special device that connects to your serial port, and into
which the chip is plugged into.
Sounds like you have no experience with microcontrollers at all, so have a
detailed look at the uChip site.