Resources for choosing a microcontroller

ATtiny2313 I’ve put together a short list (after the jump) of some potentially useful resources that may be of help in choosing a microcontroller for your project, or just getting started with microcontrollers in general. I plan to add to this list from time to time. If you have other suggested resources to add to the list, please feel free to leave them in the comments here– good suggestions may be incorporated into future revisions of the list.

Hardware resources:

  • Get started with this great instructable, How to choose a MicroController
  • Application Note from Freescale on choosing a MCU. Slightly more professionally oriented, but very useful.
  • A guide from Microchip on selecting amongst the PIC series of microcontrollers.
  • This reference is a bit dated (from 1998) but gives some excellent insight into most of the microprocessor families that are still dominant.
  • LadyAda’s PIC vs AVR Smackdown
  • Circuit Cellar article on selecting a microcontroller
  • The Six Myths of microcontroller choice
  • Arduino, the modern, healthy alternative to basic stamps.
  • Article from todbot on Arduino, “the basic stamp killer!”
  • Peter H. Anderson Embedded Processor Control– Excellent reference on (and site to buy small quantities of) BASIC Stamps, 68HC11s, PICs, PICAXEs, etc. His discussion of the PICAXE is particularly interesting.
  • Introduction to Microcontrollers @ Society of Robots

I’ve also written down a list of a few potentially useful open-source microcontroller programming environments:

  • Table of free software tools for embedded systems
  • SDCC The Small Device C Compiler, for 8051, Z80, 68HC08, etc. Works under (at least) Mac, Windows, Linux.
  • AVR-libc, the basis of AVR-GCC, the open-source compiler for AVR microcontrollers
  • win-avr, AVR-GCC for windows
  • gnupic.org has resources for open-source programming of PIC chips. (Unfortunately, there aren’t a whole lot of good options yet.)
  • GNU ARM toolchain for Cygwin, Linux and MacOS.

 

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