Published on 09 March 2013
People often despair at me for constantly raving on about how great Microchip PIC microcontrollers are, and how much better than everyone else they are.
While I completely agree that each microcontroller has its place in the world, I have yet to find a situation where Microchip don't have a microcontroller which is at least as good as the competition at fulfilling a role, whilst at the same time providing just so much more in the mix as well.
So, I thought I would look at the Arduino UNO's heart and soul, the ATMega328P - a chip that everyone on the Arduino forums thinks is the best micrcontroller, and the only microcontroller you will ever need. I figured I would try and find other microcontrollers from other manufacturers that matched it as closely as possible and compare them - in an objective manner.
After much hunting through product lists from both Microchip and TI I found two suitable matches. The basic criteria:
- Must be in a DIP package.
- Must try and at least match the Flash and RAM specifications. If possible.
I found an admirable match in the Microchip PIC18 range, with the PIC18F25K80 chip - same package as the ATMega328P, with pretty much the same spec. However, TI failed me miserably. So, I have the best I could find in a DIP package from them - the MSP430G2533. A pretty poor comparison that chip, but all I could find.
So, I looked at the basic facilities that each chip provides, and scoring each one on a comparison with the two other chips.