Published on 31 Jul 2017. Written by Vasanth Vidyakar
PIC microcontrollers are a family of specialized microcontroller chips that stands for “Peripheral Interface Controller’. These PIC microcontrollers are the world’s smallest microcontrollers that can be programmed to carry out huge range of tasks. From mobile phones, computer control systems to various embedded systems uses PIC microcontrollers for their functioning.
A typical microcontroller has a processor, memory and peripherals. The PIC microcontroller is designed to govern the operations of embedded systems in motor vehicles, robots, medical devices, home appliances and various other devices.
PIC microcontrollers are being widely used by hobbyists and engineers, especially in the field of electronics and robotics. The features of PIC microcontroller includes low cost, availability, ease of programming (EEPROM - electrically erasable programmable read-only memory), extensive collection of free application and also loads of information is available on Internet which allows more people to work on this platform.
PIC microcontroller has a set of registers that functions as RAM (Random Access Memory). The Data space of PIC is mapped with on-chip hardware resources with the help of special purpose control registers. And also PIC has a built-in EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) which eases the reprogramming of the microcontroller.
Every PIC has a stack that saves the return addresses. Earlier PIC versions don’t have a stack that saves the return addresses but this limitation was removed in the later devices. Like other microcontrollers PIC architecture consists of RAM, ROM, CPU, Timers, Counters, and supports various protocols like SPI, CAN and UART to facilitate interfacing with other peripherals.
The PIC microcontroller architecture comprises of CPU, I/O ports, memory organization, A/D converter, timers/counters, interrupts, serial communication, oscillator and CCP modules and their functions are explained below,
Today, many engineering students are showing interests towards embedded systems projects which mainly use a microcontroller. Out of all the available microcontrollers, 8051 and PIC are the preferred ones because of their features like Core Independent Peripherals, Low Power Performance, Industry-leading Robustness and Easy Development (Graphical configuration of complex systems).
Some of the projects that you can develop using PIC microcontrollers are:
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