# Atmel or Microchip?

#### bbiandov

##### Member
Hello,

I am planing a little serial to parallel converter so that I can print to parallel printers using a tty port on a linux box and I have a question:

which brand would be more suitable. Atmel or Microchip? Say compare the at902313 to its Microchip equivalent (built in uart and at least 10 outs)

Any suggestioins will be appreciated!

#### lunatic2

##### New Member
For this kind of a project, both brands would be suitable. I think it comes down to what you are familiar with, or what you want to learn. I use the Atmel AVR chips, they're very versatile. Although there is a much larger code base available for the PIC chips.

I've been working mostly with the Mega8's as they're pretty flexible with hardware support for serial, I2C, In System Programming, SPI etc, AtoD and PWM. One other thing to note about Atmel, make sure to check their spec sheets, they are phasing out some of their older designs already so their spec sheets now tell you that a chip is going to be phased out, use 'xxxx' instead.

good resource for Atmel AVR's is www.avrfreaks.com

PIC whichever chip works for you tho

#### John Sorensen

##### New Member
I think you will find it cheaper and easier to get started with Atmel than with Microchip. I went with Atmel's AVR after getting frustrated with Microchip and never looked back. If you are savvy enough, you can get started for the cost of nothing more than a chip; evaluation size C compilers are available for free (more than enough for a small project like you describe), Atmel's Studio software is free, and you can build your own programmer with schematics that are plentiful on the web (you'll need an '244 and a few diodes). If you're really serious, you can buy their ICE for $99. I bought mine back when they were close to$300 and still thought it was worth it.

FWIW,
j.

#### kinjalgp

##### Active Member
Yes you are right "John". Atmel MCU (both AVR and C51) are much cheaper than the PIC family. Most of the PICs even hard to find except for 16F84, 16F877 and a few other.

#### bbiandov

##### Member
To everyone who resopnded - Thank you very much. Yes I was leaning towards Atmel's mainly because of the cheap programmer (obo \$9). The atmel's freak site is great! Thanks again.