Microchip PIC18F Development

(Posted on April 21, '02)

The Microchip PIC18F series of processors and supporting tools are now becoming available.

This brief discussion offers suggestions on how those who purchased our PIC16F87X Dev Package may migrate to this new family. I use the term "migrate" as opposed to "upgrade". Indeed, the PIC18F is faster, has more program memory, more RAM, and a few other caveats over the PIC16F87X family, but sometimes there is a satisfaction in doing a design with a tiny PIC12C508, PIC12C672 or PIC16F628. The PIC18F series really isn't "better" unless you need the added capabilities.

For those who purchased our PIC16F87X development package, the migration path is quite simple. It is not free, but not all that expensive; $200 for a new ICD 2, about $7.00 for a PIC18F252 or 452 and nominally $75 for the CCS PCH compiler add-on.

A new In Circuit Debugger (MPLAB ICD 2) is required in place of the ICD used for the PIC16F87X family. This is packaged in a rather interesting circular package. It is totally enclosed in plastic which is a real plus for people like myself where my desk is a hopeless mess of projects and one setup tends to get placed on top of another.

The Microchip DV164007 package shown in the photo consists of the ICD 2, a 9VDC (750 mA) wall power unit, a serial cable and a USB cable. Currently, the USB interface is not supported.

The package also includes a short six conductor telephone cable which may be plugged into the telephone connector block that we provide to break out the leads to connect to the target on the solderlesss breadboard. The pin-outs and the connections to the target are exactly the same as for the PIC16F87X Development package as illustrated below.

                                                              PIC18F452 (40-pin DIP)

ICD 2 ---- Tel Cable ----- Telephone --------- Green -------- VPP (term 1)
		           Connector --------- Yellow ------- PGD (term 40)
		                     --------- White -------- PGC (term 39)
  	                             --------- Black -------- GRD
                                     --------- Red ---------- (See Note)

                                                              PIC18F252 (28-pin skinny DIP)

ICD 2 ---- Tel Cable ----- Telephone --------- Green -------- VPP (term 1)
 		           Connector --------- Yellow ------- PGD (term 28)
		                     --------- White -------- PGC (term 27)
		                     --------- Black -------- GRD
                                     --------- Red ---------- (See Note)

The PIC16F87X ICD is powered from the target. The new DV164007 ICD 2 Package is locally powered with a 9 VDC wall power unit and 5 VDC at up to 200 mA is available to power the target. The specifications indicate the ICD 2 may also be powered from the target and the unit has the sensing circuitry to ascertain whether there is +5 VDC from the target. I am one to not tempt fate, and I have been using the ICD 2 with the local power and powering the target with its own source. Thus, the red lead from the telephone connector is left open.

The ICD 2 is currently capable of interfacing only with the PIC18F family.

As with the PIC16F87X ICD, the ICD 2 may be used either as a debugger or as a programmer.

The ICD 2 is suported by MPLAB Version 5.6.

The DV164007 ICD 2 is $188.00 from a number of sources. I have no long range plans to stock this.

Note that it appears that there will not be a firmware upgrade to support the PIC Start Plus nor the Newfound Electronics WARP-13A. Microchip is talking of an AC162049 adaptor which may either be plugged into a PIC Start Plus or interfaced with the ICD 2. Newfound is working on a new WARP-18. This will not run under MPLAB.

Thus, right now, programming the new PIC18F parts is pretty much limited to using the ICD 2.

The DV164007 ICD 2, PICs PIC18F252 and PIC18F452, and perhaps someday, the AC162049 adaptor are sourced by;

My feeling is that Digikey wins hands down in not imposing a $15.00 handling charge, only charging the actual UPS cost, providing realistic availability dates and general all around good service.

The chances are good that you wll find that all of these items are currently not in stock.

If you purchased a PIC16F87X Development Package, I have a limited supply of the following.

Note that the price for the ICD 2 is a bit higher than the $188.00 as I had to pay the handling fees and shipping to get these.

In December, '01, I distributed sample routines for the PIC18C452. These were written using the CCS PCH C compiler. I believe the PIC18F simply adds the ability to modify the flash program memory and adds the high endurance EEPROM. I have been compiling the programs which were distributed by modifying the #device to indicate the PIC18F452. For the moment, I have been using the defs_18c.h header file.