Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What compiler do you use for your microcontrollers?

  1. Oct 16, 2009 #1
    I originally got into electronics by trying to learn to program PICs, but then I stopped and moved onto PICAxe and other "easy to use" development tools. Now I'm requiring a little more advanced tools and looking to at learning PICs (or maybe AVRs, haven't decided) again. One thing I remember is how much a pain using MPLAB used to be. I've used microBasik before and really liked it, so I think I might go that route. Are there are any other good compilers out there I could use? I would prefer something that is capable of utilizing some of the newer 32bit and DSP chips as well.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    AVRs were designed, from the outset, to be C machines. As such, there's ANSI C GCC port, and not the varying less-or-more standard C variants out there for PiCs (I will say that the CCS Compiler was pretty decent once you figured out the quirks, but I hadn't used the official Cxx compiler that Microchip puts out). The el-cheapo AVR-ISP mkII in-circuit programmer is good across the line.

    I'm not sure that ATMEL has a DSP equivalent, or if Microchip has an official inexpensive programmer good across most of its lines, however (to give balance to the above, and partially answer some of the other questions)
  4. Oct 20, 2009 #3
    If you decide to go with pics then I would look at Swordfish Basic for the 18 series or BoostC for 16 and 18 series. Both have free versions and if you're familiar with modular basic then Swordfish is brilliant.

  5. Oct 22, 2009 #4
    I've been looking through some sample C code and found that I now have really no difficulty reading it, although I can't write it off the top of my head. Since 95% of the development tools out there are C I guess its about time I learned it.

    Swordfish does look pretty cool, but I don't like the idea of the limited RAM size for compiling. In the past I've also found so called "full basic compilers" to be not quite so full. In the future, my programs will probably get pretty big and I don't to be strong armed into buying or learning a new compiler. I've been looking closely at the AVR32 chips and I think I might go that route since they contain an entire DSP library. I'm still kind of on the fence as they use direct USB programming, but unfortunetly lack a full debugger, unless you get the JTAGICE mkII or AVR ONE! which are both very expensive. However, AVR Studio32 and all other development tools are completely free and the chips are fairly priced. But most importantly of all, their chips look to be well supported.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook