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Which Microcontroller to Choose

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rohitthakaran

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Hello, I am a mechanical engineering graduate and I am looking interested in a career in the automotive industry in the field of electronic control systems. I know how to program in C but I am very new to embedded systems. I would like to get some advice on picking out a starter kit that would help me develop the skills that I need to land a junior-level role as an embedded software engineer or control systems engineer at an automotive company. Some things that I'd like to learn are: communication protocols (CAN, UART, I2C, SPI, TCP/IP) and RTOSs. I am helping out with the Formula SAE team at my school and they use a Microchip dsPIC33EV256GM106. My only problem with getting this kit is that there is not much information on the web (eg. tutorials, help) so it is difficult for me to learn on my own. I'd like to get a microcontroller kit (preferrably Microchip) that would allow me to learn the topics listed above and that has lots of support which would make it possible for a new user to learn themselves. Thank you
 

Ian Rogers

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I'd like to get a microcontroller kit (preferrably Microchip)
I like microchip... Tons of support.. If you can afford the explorer there is tons of adapters for it..
MikroE do a good selection and they do click boards....
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
I started with the PIC18F1330 from Microchip and their PICkit2 programmer. There are loads of tutorials out there, and lots of support on the Microchip forums. The PICkit2 has been replaced by the PICkit3, but I still use my 2 for the older chips.
 

DerStrom8

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Nothing is "wrong" with them. It's just much easier to get started with a simple chip like the '1330. The PIC32s tend to be a bit more complex than the PIC18s.
 

Ian Rogers

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Pic32 starter kits are very limited...

I use the Olimex Pinguino micro.... 22 pin headers on both sides USB and SD on board.. I have the pic32Pro compiler from MikroE and their bootloader... I can do almost everything... I have one with a colour touch LCD connected and I seem to be able to interface almost everything to it.... Olimex have a standard 10 pin serial connector and serveral addon boards...

They have just relaesed a PIC32MX795F512H version...

If you want to learn... I suggest something that you can play with..

I bought a microchip ONE development kit ( only because it was cheaper than buying a pickit3.. which it came with ) but you can only program it.... It doesn't do anything!!!
 

DirtyLude

Well-Known Member
If you are looking for a job in professional OEM automotive, ARM is your only option for entry level training that means anything. I don't know of any PowerPC starter kits, which is another big one. dsPIC is certainly a capable chip, there are a lot of capable chips out there, but dsPIC on your professional resume will get you about as far as Eagle experience in professional PCB design, which is to say not far.

There is an abundance of ARM starter boards, but ST, Freescale, and NXP are the most popular.

Most high level systems in automotive (ECU, air bag control, ABS brake control, stability control,...) use some specialized chips that are certified for automotive use.
 
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