Be sure to check out my new languages page where I talk about cool crossplatform Languages for the PIC.
Also read to the bottom for an update on even newer, jampacked PICs that you should consider adding to your toolbox.
July 25, 2004: I decided to spruce up the page a bit by moving the focus to the 16F88.
April 2nd, 2005: Note there may be residual comments that were originally targeted for the 16F628. If you see one of these, please let me know so that I can correct them. Thanks to Robert Rolf for pointing out a couple of these. For nearly three years now I've been advocating the use of the 16F628 for new small pin package PIC projects. After writing dozens, if not over a hundred, posts on the subject. I finally realized that if I am to continue the crusade I needed to summarize the features in one spot. So here it is. And as I pointed out above, the 16F88 is even better so I'll talk about it here. You can find the original 16F628 comparision page for archival purposes.
I'd like to start by saying that the 16C84, the 16F84, and the 16F84A are all outstanding parts, especially for the hobbyist. With their flash based reprogrammability, and reasonable costs, they provided an avenue for many developers to enter the microcontroller arena.
However at this point there is a lot of inertia. With the widespread books, articles, and websites about the 16F84, the fact that Microchip has progressed in their product lines is somewhat obscured. The purpose of this page is to outline the feature advantages Microchip's new low end product line and to argue that the 16F84 should be considered obsolete.
Microchip has several new flash based products. The 18F series, now in full production, has somewhat of a lag in both development and high level language environments. The 16F87X family is an outstanding product line, but does not have a pin compatible version to the 16F84. The third, fourth, and fifth lines: the 16F62X line, headed by the 16F628, the 16F8X line, headlined by the 16F88, and the 16F81X line, topped by the 16F819, are pin for pin compatible with the 16F84. In particular the 16F88 has many many new features:
Finally the kicker:
The 16F88 costs less than the 16F84A!!!!That's right. The far superior part in features costs less than the older, less featured part.
The 25 part price of the 16F84A is $4.24 at Digikey. The 16F88 price is $2.60. That's for 20 Mhz parts.Note that the 8MHz oscillator referred to above is the internal oscillator. The 16F88 can run up to 20 MHz with an external crystal/oscillator. The disparity is larger for smaller quantities.
As one local Atlanta radio station ad states:
"THIS IS THE BIGGEST NO BRAINER IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!"The 16F88 is so much bigger, better, badder, and cheaper. It's 4 for 4 over the 16F84 or 16F84A. Even Microchip is clearly trying to steer folks away from the 16F84 with their pricing.
So that's it. The 16F88 is superior in every way to the 16F84.
Even Newer PICS!This page hasn't been updated for awhile. In the last year or so a crowd of new parts have shown up. Most have the really cool oscillator module that has multiple speeds and good enough precision to be used for async serial projects. Be sure to check them out:
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