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Re: [SeattleRobotics] PIC C programming - which compiler should I use?

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  • PeterBalch
    Summarising the info given so far: Chips Compiler Cost Comments PIC 18F MPLAB C18 $400 Free
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Summarising the info given so far:

      Chips Compiler Cost Comments
      PIC 18F MPLAB C18 $400 Free "Student" ed?
      PIC 24/30/33F MPLAB C30 $900 Free "Student" ed?
      16F CCS $150 No linking or libs
      ? SDCC ? makes huge images
      ? HI-TECH PICC-Lite ? free for
      16F627,16F877, 2K limit

      Have I got that right? What other compilers have people tried?

      It would be good to know for each compiler:
      - what chips does it cover?
      - cost
      - what "free" version is available ?
      - what are the limitations of the free version?
      - what disadvantages does it have?
      - website for download?

      Why would I want to pay $900 for a compiler? Surely there are free GNU (or
      similar) compilers available. What's wrong with them?

      Peter
    • Doug Evans
      Peter, I m not aware of a GNU port for the PIC 14-bit architecture. If you find one, please let me know. There are some basic architectural issues that make a
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 1, 2007
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        Peter,



        I'm not aware of a GNU port for the PIC 14-bit architecture. If you find
        one, please let me know.



        There are some basic architectural issues that make a GNU-C port extremely
        problematic (things like the strange stack implementation and the segmented
        addressing).



        The other info you are looking for is readily available on the various
        product web pages.



        www.microchip.com



        www.ccsinfo.com



        www.htsoft.com



        As to your question about actually paying for a compiler, you'll do this
        only if you find that none of these freebies fill your need. If you are
        stuck on the PIC16 series, and you are doing anything serious, you will
        eventually wind up purchasing one of these products. This is why most of the
        experienced PIC folks on the list have been suggesting that PIC newbies move
        to the PIC18 series (or even up to the 16 bit architecture). The Student
        edition of C18 (IMHO) is vastly superior to the free items available for the
        PIC16 chips. Furthermore, the PIC18 chips are mostly plug-compatible with
        the P16 chip in the same package. The price differences between the two are
        negligible.



        -de









        From: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of PeterBalch
        Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 6:48 AM
        To: INTERNET:SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SPAM] Re: [SeattleRobotics] PIC C programming - which compiler
        should I use?



        Summarising the info given so far:

        Chips Compiler Cost Comments
        PIC 18F MPLAB C18 $400 Free "Student" ed?
        PIC 24/30/33F MPLAB C30 $900 Free "Student" ed?
        16F CCS $150 No linking or libs
        ? SDCC ? makes huge images
        ? HI-TECH PICC-Lite ? free for
        16F627,16F877, 2K limit

        Have I got that right? What other compilers have people tried?

        It would be good to know for each compiler:
        - what chips does it cover?
        - cost
        - what "free" version is available ?
        - what are the limitations of the free version?
        - what disadvantages does it have?
        - website for download?

        Why would I want to pay $900 for a compiler? Surely there are free GNU (or
        similar) compilers available. What's wrong with them?

        Peter





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • dlc
        ... Only the C30 is GNU based for their 16 bit data path PICs. I think $900 is overpriced in the extreme, but no one is giving away 24/30/33F PIC compilers.
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 1, 2007
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          PeterBalch wrote:
          > Summarising the info given so far:
          >
          > Chips Compiler Cost Comments
          > PIC 18F MPLAB C18 $400 Free "Student" ed?
          > PIC 24/30/33F MPLAB C30 $900 Free "Student" ed?
          > 16F CCS $150 No linking or libs
          > ? SDCC ? makes huge images
          > ? HI-TECH PICC-Lite ? free for
          > 16F627,16F877, 2K limit
          >
          > Have I got that right? What other compilers have people tried?
          >
          > It would be good to know for each compiler:
          > - what chips does it cover?
          > - cost
          > - what "free" version is available ?
          > - what are the limitations of the free version?
          > - what disadvantages does it have?
          > - website for download?
          >
          > Why would I want to pay $900 for a compiler? Surely there are free GNU (or
          > similar) compilers available. What's wrong with them?

          Only the C30 is GNU based for their 16 bit data path PICs. I think
          $900 is overpriced in the extreme, but no one is giving away 24/30/33F
          PIC compilers. The base compiler for the 24/30/33F MCU's is GNU, which
          you can build yourself. Microchip has pointers for doing this, you just
          don't get any of the libraries - Those libraries is what you are paying
          for I think. Even CCS puts a premium on that part. I wouldnt' even
          bother with the PIC 16 bit stuff, go right for the 32 bit. Before I'd
          drop that kind of money on an antiquated architecture I'd get ARM's with
          free GCC support. The ARM programmers tend to be more pricey though as
          they are usually JTAG.
          The Microchip C18 compiler is pretty decent and quite stable. CCS
          has a cheaper 18F compiler, but IMO its pretty crippled and you end up
          going around a lot of their constructs because they are poorly
          optimized. For the 14 bit stuff (16F) CCS is a pretty good setup however.
          I've used all of these Microchip and CCS compilers, I've felt that
          HiTec was too pricey and I've never used the SDCC stuff. So, that is
          where my opinions come from. I've gone to the Microchip Master's
          conferences for years and bought the compilers at 1/2 price there, which
          makes them much more affordable. :)

          IMO,
          DLC

          > Peter
          >
          >
          >
          > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >

          --
          -------------------------------------------------
          Dennis Clark TTT Enterprises
          www.techtoystoday.com
          -------------------------------------------------
        • Richard Greenway
          It should be noted that the C30 compiler is gnu based. You are paying for the various patches and libraries to make it cross compile to the Microchip parts. If
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 1, 2007
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            It should be noted that the C30 compiler is gnu based. You are paying
            for the various patches and libraries to make it cross compile to the
            Microchip parts.

            If you are using the 16F series. (18F is really the way to go, unless it
            is mass production sort of thing, where every cent counts) The Hi-Tech
            compiler (PICC) does have a 30day trial... (and it wasn't me that said
            that it works after that period by setting your date back.)


            What you are really paying for though, is support. It's very nice when
            you get stuck, you can ask the compiler writers for help in getting your
            code working.

            That being said though... The Hi-Tech 18F(also does 24F and dsPIC
            series) has a few bugs, and in general the Microchip compilers are a bit
            better. Though they have a tinge of C++ in their hardware calling
            conventions. That makes the code generally more self documenting.

            Richard

            > I'm not aware of a GNU port for the PIC 14-bit architecture. If you find
            > one, please let me know.

            > There are some basic architectural issues that make a GNU-C port extremely
            > problematic (things like the strange stack implementation and the segmented
            > addressing).

            >
            > The other info you are looking for is readily available on the various
            > product web pages.

            >
            > www.microchip.com
            >
            >
            >
            > www.ccsinfo.com
            >
            >
            >
            > www.htsoft.com

            >
            > As to your question about actually paying for a compiler, you'll do this
            > only if you find that none of these freebies fill your need. If you are
            > stuck on the PIC16 series, and you are doing anything serious, you will
            > eventually wind up purchasing one of these products. This is why most of the
            > experienced PIC folks on the list have been suggesting that PIC newbies move
            > to the PIC18 series (or even up to the 16 bit architecture). The Student
            > edition of C18 (IMHO) is vastly superior to the free items available for the
            > PIC16 chips. Furthermore, the PIC18 chips are mostly plug-compatible with
            > the P16 chip in the same package. The price differences between the two are
            > negligible.
            >
            >
            >
            > -de
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > From: SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of PeterBalch
            > Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 6:48 AM
            > To: INTERNET:SeattleRobotics@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [SPAM] Re: [SeattleRobotics] PIC C programming - which compiler
            > should I use?
            >
            >
            >
            > Summarising the info given so far:
            >
            > Chips Compiler Cost Comments
            > PIC 18F MPLAB C18 $400 Free "Student" ed?
            > PIC 24/30/33F MPLAB C30 $900 Free "Student" ed?
            > 16F CCS $150 No linking or libs
            > ? SDCC ? makes huge images
            > ? HI-TECH PICC-Lite ? free for
            > 16F627,16F877, 2K limit
            >
            > Have I got that right? What other compilers have people tried?
            >
            > It would be good to know for each compiler:
            > - what chips does it cover?
            > - cost
            > - what "free" version is available ?
            > - what are the limitations of the free version?
            > - what disadvantages does it have?
            > - website for download?
            >
            > Why would I want to pay $900 for a compiler? Surely there are free GNU (or
            > similar) compilers available. What's wrong with them?
            >
            > Peter
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > Visit the SRS Website at http://www.seattlerobotics.org
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
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