High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (PRWEB) February 10, 2007
A new C programming course using the popular PIC microcontroller teaches programming in C, but unlike other courses it uses hardware to demonstrate and reinforce theoretical C code. With this practical approach the student can gain a far better understanding of how and why the C code works.
Written by a professional engineer the course is designed for people with no experience of C programming.
Why not Use Assembler?
Traditionally assembler has been the language of choice for PIC Microcontrollers encouraged by Microchip with free programming tools but now C compilers do an excellent job of optimizing code for PIC Microcontrollers. They make it easy to create projects since they take care of details such as bank switching and memory management.
In addition using the C language is a far more efficient way to use a PIC device since it takes about ten times less code to write C programs for the same task so it is easier to write (less typing) and it is easier to understand since there is less to read.
Newer PIC devices have much larger memory and RAM than the original 1k parts and it is far more difficult to maintain an assembler program than it is to maintain a C program. So it makes much more sense to program them using C.
The only obstacle is learning the language and the course develops C concepts by showing new C theory in each module which is then used to create a working C program that executes on hardware. In this way the student can see the practical application of the theory.
In addition experimentation by the student is encouraged with suggested exercises at the end of each module and since debugged source code is provided the student has a good foundation to start from.
Project Based Approach
There are two projects in the course. The first shows simple concepts using LEDs and the second is a full project including, RS232 PC to microcontroller communication (and vice versa), reading the internal ADC and using the PWM (Pulse Width Modulator).
These projects come with fully debugged code and hex file so the microcontroller can be programmed immediately.
Other Course Tools
As well as the project designs two video tutorials show use of the programming software and compiler. In addition a C reference e-book gives details of the C language.
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