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Some of the processors I've worked with over the past thirty years...
Microchip PIC (12, 16, and 18 series)
Pic 16C57, 12F629, 16F84, 16F627, 16F628
Originally a programmable interface controller, and a really versatile and compact device. It's RISC
instruction set is easy to use, and the device lends itself to many embedded applications. Many of the
pins can be used for more than one function, and are software configured. Clock and reset signals can
be provided by just a couple of external components making the whole thing very small especially when
using the 8 pin 12F629. These devices are also found in smartcard form, often coupled to an EPROM for
extra program space. I use a "Mastera" to program these goldcard devices. It also works with atmel based
smartcards, and the GSM mobile phone type sim card / smartcards too.
I first met the PIC in about 1989 when I was asked to produce some SKY TV cards to de-scramble
encrypted television signals. I later went on to modify one of my satellite receivers to link directly to a PC
serial port so I could run / test various pieces of code directly without even using a card!
More recently I've been doing the occasional PIC job for control and sound effects jobs. I wrote a piece
of code while I was in spain for 10 days and tested it when I returned to the UK as I didn't take the programmer
with me and couldn't test it out there. It worked without any problems. I am currently putting together some
small modules based on the 12Fxxx and 16Fxxx devices to control gas solenoid valves and an ignition system.
I'm using the usb enabled 18fxxxx series as system interfaces in a very-long-data-word arithmetic logic unit
I am designing. The testbed system is 32bit, the full version will be 2048/4096 bit. (512 digit i/p 1024 o/p).
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