Microcontroller Programming: The Microchip PIC
There are two sides to the computer revolution: one is represented by the PC on your desktop and the second one by the device that remote-controls your TV, monitors and operates your car engine, and allows you to set up your answering machine and your microwave oven. At the core of the PC you find a microprocessor, while at the heart of a self-contained programmable device (also called an embedded system) is a microcontroller.
Microcontrollers are virtually everywhere in our modern society. They are found in automobiles, airplanes, toys, kitchen appliances, computers, TVs and VCRs, phones and answering machines, space telescopes, and practically every electronic digital device that furnishes an independent functionality to its user. In this sense a microcontroller is a self-contained computer system that includes a processor, memory, and some way of communicating with the outside world, all in a single chip that can be smaller than a postage stamp.
A microcontroller (sometimes called an MCU) is actually a computer on a chip. Essentially it is a control device and its design places emphasis on being self-sufficient and inexpensive. The typical microcontroller contains all the components and features necessary to perform its functions, such as a central processor, input/output facilities, timers, RAM memory for storing program data and executable code, and a clock or oscillator that provides a timing beat. In addition, some microcontrollers include a variety of additional modules and circuits. Some common ones are serial and parallel communications, analog-to-digital converters, realtime clocks, and flash memory.
Engineers, inventors, experimenters, students, and device designers in general deal with microcontrollers on an everyday basis. In fact, interest in microcontrollers is not limited to electrical, electronic, and computer engineers. Mechanical and automotive engineers, among many others, often design devices or components that contain microcontrollers. The system that controls the hatch of a ballistic missile silo and the one that operates the doglike toy that barks and rolls on its back, both contain microcontrollers.
The Microchip PIC
Microcontrollers include an enormous array of models and variations of general- and special-purpose devices. Discussing all of them in a single volume would have forced a superficial scope. Even the products of a single manufacturer can have a mind-bog-gling variety, which sometimes include hundreds of different MCU models in a half-dozen families, all with very different applications and features.
For this reason we have focused the book on a single type of microcontroller: the Microchip PIC. Not only are the PIC the most used and best known microcontrollers, they are also the best supported. In fact, PIC system design and programming has become a powerful specialization with a large number of professional and amateur specialists. There are hundreds of WEB sites devoted to PIC-related topics. An entire cottage industry of PIC software and hardware has flourished around this technology.
For practical reasons we have limited the book’s scope to 8-bit PICs. In fact, the book concentrates on a particular type of 8-bit PIC known as the mid-range family. We have chosen this approach partly because of space limitations and partly due to the fact that 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers (sometimes called external memory microcontrollers) are more related to microprocessor technology than to the topic at hand.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 – Basic Electronics
- Chapter 2 – Number Systems
- Chapter 3 – Data Types and Data Storage
- Chapter 4 – Digital Logic, Arithmetic, and Conversions
- Chapter 5 – Circuits and Logic Gates
- Chapter 6 – Circuit Components
- Chapter 7 – The Microchip PIC
- Chapter 8 – Mid-range PIC Architecture
- Chapter 9 – PIC Programming: Tools and Techniques
- Chapter 10 – Programming Essentials: Input and Output
- Chapter 11 – Interrupts
- Chapter 12 – Timers and Counters
- Chapter 13 – LCD Interfacing and Programming
- Chapter 14 – Communications
- Chapter 15 – Data EEPROM Programming
- Chapter 16 – Analog to Digital and Realtime Clocks
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|January 2, 2016|
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