Mighty Micros

Prototype to Production...

Robert Rozèe

Issue 2, August 2017

When it comes to electronics, collaboration can generate some truly amazing results. The Micromite Explore-28 is one such example.

Four people, spanning three different countries (Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom), have come together to take a simple PIC prototype into a full functioning, powerful production board. We caught up with Robert Rozée from New Zealand, to take a close look at the Explore-28.

For those of us who aren’t familiar with using PIC micros, for practical purposes, what’s the difference between a PIC and, say, an Arduino?

It mostly comes down to the memory resources and onboard peripherals - almost everything out there running on single-chip micros is written in C, and so details of the chip architecture are generally well hidden from the programmer’s view. Things have come a very long way from the days when you needed to code in assembler, in order to gain sufficient speed and fit your program into available memory space.

The main reasons Geoff Graham selected the Microchip PIC32MX devices for creating the Micromite, were because of three key features that other chip manufacturers could not match in a single device:

  1. A 32-bit processor;
  2. It was housed in a hobbyist-friendly 28-pin DIP package; and
  3. It had an extremely large onboard memory.

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Robert Rozèe

Robert Rozèe

Electronics Engineer from Christchurch, NZ