Flowcode PWM with Microchip PIC

I’m trying to get back in the swing of producing videos. here’s my latest stab at showing you how to generate PWM signals with your Microchip PIC and Flowcode. As always, when I watch these I wished that I had added a few things as well as pulled a couple of things out. But that’s my nature and what holds me back from posting more. I’m trying to get over it…lol.

Secure Programming

This video might be of  interest for those companies or individuals who would like to have someone else build and program their product.  When you hand over your .hex file to some contract manufacturer, despite contractual and legal protections against them ripping off your intellectual property, it creates an opportunity that you might want to protect yourself against.  I suspect that it isn’t necessary for most people but I thought I share it anyway.

Chuck Hellebuyck’s new Book

I happen to be on the inside track of knowing that Chuck will be releasing a new book soon.  How do I know?  Well, I’ve been the cover designer for Chuck’s books for a few years.  I just finished a cover for him this weekend and that means that within a few weeks his latest book will be available.  I haven’t read it but I know that he’s spent quick alot of time on it.  Just like all his books, I’m sure they’ll provide you with hours of learning and enjoyment.

Along with being Chuck’s book cover designer, I’ve been a student.  He explains how stuff works in a way that nobody  is doing these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m an electrical engineer with over 20 years in the field and I still look forward to his books.   There’s ALWAYS something I can learn from his writing.   He explains things in a clear unclouded way that people with or without years of experience can understand.  I recommend his books for anyone that wants to get right to the business of programming and developing real projects.  Don’t get scammed by all the professors and peddlers of books that just want to prove how smart they are.  Chuck Hellebuyck is interested in your learning and understanding how the embedded world works more that proving how smart he is.

Microchip announces launch of the ChipKit

Ok, this is pretty cool.  Microchip is getting on board with the whole Arduino craze and has released the first Arduino™ Compatible
32-bit Microcontroller Development Platform.  As a PIC fan, I can tell you that I’m absolutely thrilled that Microchip is getting in on this rapidly growing movement.  They must be realizing that kids in college are learning how to program in the embedded world on the Arduino. This means that when the get out in the real world, guess which device is going to be the first they choose when working on a project? – Atmel!

This is a smart move by Microchip.  I just hope that this is a solid launch and not some bug filled black eye.  I’ve ordered myself a Max32 board to run it through it’s paces and will let you know what I think. 

If you just can’t wait to read my review, you can buy it HERE.  

Here’s the Microchip Press release that tells all about it…

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Beginners Guide to Embedded C Programming Volume 3 is Launched!

We here at Raw Micro are big fans of Chuck Hellebuyck who has been educating people about Programming Micros for many years.  He just recently published his third book in a series about Programming in Hi-Tech C.  If you ever wanted to do embedded programming on a PIC, you want to start by reading Chuck’s books.  Chuck is more interested in teaching you the how and why of embedded programming than many of the “experts” out there.  These self described “experts” are only interested in showing you how much they know.   Many of us have been in a class with a teacher who is only interestind in impressing the class with their massive knowledge.  They don’t teach us anything!!!  Chuck is the teacher you want when it comes to this stuff.  He makes it simple and brings many years of industry experience with him.

We are pleased to be able to offer his newest release here at RawMicro.com.  Check it out HERE.

Intel’s new revolutionary Tri-Gate 3D transistors

Intel senior fellow Mark Bohr showed off the company’s revolutionary new 3D transistors in an announcement this week in San Francisco. The power, performance, and real estate gains are impressive. Moore’s Law seems to be holding.

Tri-Gate 3D Transistors

In the video below, Bohr explains that these transistors are normally built in a two-dimensional fashion, where electrons flow from one end of a transistor to another in a planar way. With the Tri-Gate transistors, they flow sideways, then up, then across and then down again. This allows the transistor to take up less space on a chip, the same way a skyscraper is a more efficient use of a plot of land.

From the press release:

Intel today announced a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor, the microscopic building block of modern electronics. For the first time since the invention of silicon transistors over 50 years ago, transistors using a three-dimensional structure will be put into high-volume manufacturing. Intel will introduce a revolutionary 3-D transistor design called Tri-Gate, first disclosed by Intel in 2002, into high-volume manufacturing at the 22-nanometer (nm) node in an Intel chip codenamed Ivy Bridge. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. The 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate transistors provide up to 37 percent performance increase at low voltage versus Intel’s 32nm planar transistors. This incredible gain means that they are ideal for use in small handheld devices, which operate using less energy to “switch” back and forth. Alternatively, the new transistors consume less than half the power when at the same performance as 2-D planar transistors on 32nm chips.

Microchip Masters 2011

I just noticed that Microchip has announced the dates of their annual Masters conference.  If you work in the field of embedded electronics, you should start talking to your boss about letting you go to this conference.  I’ve been several times and I recommend it.  Yeah, it loaded with geeks but hey, who doesn’t love a geek?

If you need to get up to speed on some of the basics, be sure to plan on attending the preconference.  This’ll get you in good shape for classes in the main conference.  The evenings are pretty fun too because the hotel has entertainment everynight and plenty of pools to choose from.


MPLAB XFor those of you who like to be on the bleeding edge of development tools, I’ve just learned that you can download the beta version of MPLAB X HERE.  MPLAB X will run on PC’s, Mac, and Linux and uses the NetBeans framework.  What does that have to do with Raw Micro?  Hey, you can use MPLAB X to develop you code for the CHIPINO.  That’s one of the wonderful things about the CHIPINO.  You can use the tools you feel the most comfortable with.

Flowcode / CHIPINO Video Introduction Tutorial

Hey folks, quick video tutorial on getting your CHIPINO working with Flowcode.   This is the first video I have ever made in my life so please take it easy on me!  I’m planning on doing more in the future and hopefully with a little practice they’ll get better.

So what’s a CHIPINO?

The CHIPINOOk, let’s talk a little CHIPINO.  What the heck is this thing you ask?  According to the developer over at Brockway Engineering it’s …

…an electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, students, technicians, engineers and anyone else interested in creating interactive gadgets.

Well, that’s pretty cool but you probably want a little more detail than that.  The CHIPINO is an option to consider if you’re interested in what the Arduino can do but you’re more of a PIC person.  The Arduino is built on the Atmel microcontroller while the CHIPINO is built around a Microchip PIC.  It comes with a 28 lead PDIP PIC16F886 onboard but you can change that out for other 28 lead 8bit PIC.  The CHIPINO has the pins brought out to the edge of the board in an Arudino style arrangement.  In fact, you can even use Arduino sheilds on the CHIPINO.

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