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Helpful ReplyHot!Is MCHP still developing the PIC32?

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pboddie
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/16 14:01:47 (permalink)
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jdeguire
pboddie
And as an aside to whoever it was complaining about compilers not keeping up with various language specifications, you can pretty much use a MIPS-targeted GCC from your GNU/Linux distribution to target PIC32, and that is always going to be up-to-date. Otherwise, just configure and build a compiler using Buildroot if you're worried about accidentally generating unsupported instructions.

That would be me.  The issue isn't the toolchain itself, but rather the surrounding libraries and header files that rely on extra features that Microchip has added to XC32, such as their extra attributes and the pragmas for setting up the configuration registers on the devices.

 
There's definitely some tedious work required to make the necessary definitions for things like configuration registers and the like. Projects like Pinguino try to provide independent versions of the Microchip headers, although I am not sure how independent those versions actually are. My own efforts have mostly covered precisely what I am going to use.
 
jdeguire
To that end, I'm actually working on a code generator that will generate headers, linker scripts, config files, and startup code for devices that do not rely on XC32-specific features.  The eventual goal is to use them with a Clang-based toolchain (I'm also working on an MPLAB X plugin to make it work).  I'm still a very, very long way from having anything useful, though.

 
Things like linker scripts and startup code are not so bad with a degree of familiarity with the platform, but getting the familiarity can take a while. I also have an interest in various MIPS-based SoCs, and that made similar work with the PIC32 more approachable (particularly with regard to CPU-specific operations).
 
Given that I am only ever going to use "libre" toolchains, and the feasibility of using them led me to choose the PIC32 in the first place, I admittedly have an interest in making sure they are viable for such exercises.
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/16 14:09:22 (permalink)
5 (2)
There is another topic that is becoming more and more obvious to me. CPU socket. It may seem ridiculous, but it's been very defining lately.
It comes to processors in the range 200-600MHz. I know a lot of people in this industry, and no one wants to use BGA. All the new processors/ Microchip/ are BGA. Practically, no one I know who works with them, precisely because of BGA.
Up to 200MHz they work with PIC, then people went to ST/ NXP especially for that. These are processors with 120-180 pins /TQFP/. Other companies have and people are forced to switch to them. It can be easily to make chips with 150 pins and 500MHz with decent capabilities.
No one wants to deal with designing a multilayer board, and then with saturation with BGA chips. If you are going to work with BGA chips, you are already working in the range above 1 GHz. There was an option for Microchip to produce its own processors directly into modules to use/SOM/, but they don't. They have a single module, which is nothing.
DominusT
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/16 14:48:13 (permalink)
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Stefiff
There is another topic that is becoming more and more obvious to me. CPU socket. It may seem ridiculous, but it's been very defining lately.
It comes to processors in the range 200-600MHz. I know a lot of people in this industry, and no one wants to use BGA. All the new processors/ Microchip/ are BGA. Practically, no one I know who works with them, precisely because of BGA.
Up to 200MHz they work with PIC, then people went to ST/ NXP especially for that. These are processors with 120-180 pins /TQFP/. Other companies have and people are forced to switch to them. It can be easily to make chips with 150 pins and 500MHz with decent capabilities.
No one wants to deal with designing a multilayer board, and then with saturation with BGA chips. If you are going to work with BGA chips, you are already working in the range above 1 GHz. There was an option for Microchip to produce its own processors directly into modules to use/SOM/, but they don't. They have a single module, which is nothing.


They should do something similar to DiGi's RCM6700 modules.

https://www.digi.com/products/embedded-systems/system-on-modules/rcm6700
 
jdeguire
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/17 13:57:04 (permalink)
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pboddie
There's definitely some tedious work required to make the necessary definitions for things like configuration registers and the like. Projects like Pinguino try to provide independent versions of the Microchip headers, although I am not sure how independent those versions actually are. My own efforts have mostly covered precisely what I am going to use.

 
Yeah, making the needed files would be quite tedious for me as I'm going for a more general solution that you are.  You certainly have the benefit of tailoring everything to fit exactly what you need.  I ended up making an MPLAB X plugin to do the heavy lifting (obviously still a work in progress):
 
https://github.com/jdegui...ratePic32SpecificStuff
 
MPLAB X has a plugin API that can provide a lot of info about all the devices it supports.  It isn't perfect, but it'll get you really far if you ever find yourself in need of supporting a bunch of devices.

Stefiff
No one wants to deal with designing a multilayer board, and then with saturation with BGA chips. If you are going to work with BGA chips, you are already working in the range above 1 GHz. There was an option for Microchip to produce its own processors directly into modules to use/SOM/, but they don't. They have a single module, which is nothing.



This is a good point, though to be fair Microchip does have a few SOMs at this point. They're only for the Cortex-A5 and ARM9 devices, but those ones require more external components to work than most of the micros.  Are there chips you're hoping to see?
 
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/18 01:59:38 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby DominusT 2020/07/18 09:26:05
5 (3)
Honestly, I no longer hope for anything from Microchip. They have made a lot of mistakes in politics in the last two years. If I look around me, all my friends who have worked with Microchip, abandon them in masse, and switch to other manufacturers.
Here are a few things that are wrong.
1/ All SAM9/ SAMM5 are BGA.
2/ They all have many pins. Why aren't there chips with 44-100 pins and the standard modules that are available in the smaller PIC32. Only to operate at high frequency.
3/ SIP. This is OK. Very rarely, when using the SIP option, you will connect additional RAM.  Externally you will add a flash/SD card/SPI,SQI,SDHC/. Again, you don't need many pins.
If someone bothers to read, there are special requirements for the built-in RAM when the power is turned off. Otherwise, after 400 shutdowns, the chip is dead. This greatly complicates the board.
4/ Linux. Very big mistake. Its only application is for network devices that do nothing but transfer network tariffs. On a chip up to 500MHz and Linux for some application in which something is done in real time through the different ports is not possible. Connection to other chips on the board for example.
5/ SOM. Only 2 - ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM1 and ATSAMA5D27-SOM1.

Two real examples.
1/ I'm looking for a faster processor. I stop at SAM9X60D1G. Price OK. BGA - bad. I decide that if there is a kit with it, I will buy it just to play with it. And see what works. Yes -  SAM9X60-EK Evaluation Kit. Price for one chip is 11 USD, for kit - 260 USD. Seriously? I missed them immediately. Why most of the others' kits are in the range of 40-50 euros? / NXP/ST /
2/ Last week I spoke to a friend who works for a large company. They sell their products all over Europe. I asked him what chips they work with, and to give some idea for a faster processor, something in the range of 400-500 MHz. They work with NXP, 400 MHz, TQFP. To my question why this one, the answer was clear. Because it is not BGA, and it works calmly on a two-layer board. Manages other specialized chips on the board. The software is only on C.
 
It doesn't make sense to put a huge processor at all, just because I need more RAM or LAN connection. For example, I will control several relays and transistors, and for that I will have to put a 200 pin processor for 20USD. This is not normal for me.
 
 
DominusT
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/18 09:29:51 (permalink)
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Stefiff
Honestly, I no longer hope for anything from Microchip. They have made a lot of mistakes in politics in the last two years. If I look around me, all my friends who have worked with Microchip, abandon them in masse, and switch to other manufacturers.
Here are a few things that are wrong.
1/ All SAM9/ SAMM5 are BGA.
2/ They all have many pins. Why aren't there chips with 44-100 pins and the standard modules that are available in the smaller PIC32. Only to operate at high frequency.
3/ SIP. This is OK. Very rarely, when using the SIP option, you will connect additional RAM.  Externally you will add a flash/SD card/SPI,SQI,SDHC/. Again, you don't need many pins.
If someone bothers to read, there are special requirements for the built-in RAM when the power is turned off. Otherwise, after 400 shutdowns, the chip is dead. This greatly complicates the board.
4/ Linux. Very big mistake. Its only application is for network devices that do nothing but transfer network tariffs. On a chip up to 500MHz and Linux for some application in which something is done in real time through the different ports is not possible. Connection to other chips on the board for example.
5/ SOM. Only 2 - ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM1 and ATSAMA5D27-SOM1.

Two real examples.
1/ I'm looking for a faster processor. I stop at SAM9X60D1G. Price OK. BGA - bad. I decide that if there is a kit with it, I will buy it just to play with it. And see what works. Yes -  SAM9X60-EK Evaluation Kit. Price for one chip is 11 USD, for kit - 260 USD. Seriously? I missed them immediately. Why most of the others' kits are in the range of 40-50 euros? / NXP/ST /
2/ Last week I spoke to a friend who works for a large company. They sell their products all over Europe. I asked him what chips they work with, and to give some idea for a faster processor, something in the range of 400-500 MHz. They work with NXP, 400 MHz, TQFP. To my question why this one, the answer was clear. Because it is not BGA, and it works calmly on a two-layer board. Manages other specialized chips on the board. The software is only on C.
 
It doesn't make sense to put a huge processor at all, just because I need more RAM or LAN connection. For example, I will control several relays and transistors, and for that I will have to put a 200 pin processor for 20USD. This is not normal for me.
 
 

How about the cost of compilers and libraries?

There may be better alternatives with respect to the characteristics of the MCUs, development kits, and chip packages.

Do they also have better characteristics of software tools?
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/18 10:01:30 (permalink)
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The prices of compilers, programmers and libraries are known and can be seen on the website of the respective manufacturers. Usually, if they are bought, it is a one-time investment. You don't have to pay for every processor, as with the kits. Especially for ARM, there are many alternatives that are compatible between different manufacturers. Everyone works with what is most convenient for him.
 
One clarification. I'm not against expensive kits. I am against having only such.
Let's have a kit that consists of a processor + ram + flash + power supply. And this should be the cheap version. Now let everyone decide what is convenient for him. Now Microchip forces me to buy things I will never use.
It's the same with processors. Let there be a BGA version with many pins. But let there be alternatives in the sockets and pins.
The strength of the ARM is that there are many kits that represent a processor soldered to the board, with quartz and power supply at the cost of the processor. This makes it very easy to work with new processors without any investment.
Already, when it comes to a prototype, a new board is always made, and then no kit is used.
friesen
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/18 11:17:33 (permalink)
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I think manufacturers make what people buy.  I'm unclear why bga would be considered unusable by professionals. Especially if the die designers lay it out with power pins to the inside, like some stm32, and unlike the SAM5D2 series for example.
 
For me, typically 2/3 of my time on projects is spent in the software portion.  With reputable pcb assemblers, I haven't had any real issue with bga's so far.  While you can't inspect it very easily, I think the margin for error goes down some with bga done right.
 
What really matters to me is the development environment. The gap in user experience between jlink + crossworks and mplabx is so large I can hardly get myself to think about a new pic32 project.  Even the ICD4 doesn't really make much difference.  I think it would be easier/faster to build a gdb stub and use netbeans for some situations.
 
External memory viewability should be a most basic requirement for an ide, imo.
 
 
post edited by friesen - 2020/07/18 11:18:43

Erik Friesen
Bradlez
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/18 21:04:37 (permalink)
5 (1)
Stefiff
3/ SIP. This is OK. Very rarely, when using the SIP option, you will connect additional RAM.  Externally you will add a flash/SD card/SPI,SQI,SDHC/. Again, you don't need many pins.
If someone bothers to read, there are special requirements for the built-in RAM when the power is turned off. Otherwise, after 400 shutdowns, the chip is dead. This greatly complicates the board.
 



Personally I wouldn't really dare to use anything Microchip for 32-bit and above. Only for 8-bit and 16-bit because they're the leaders there. But can you explain what kind of insane errata mentions a PIC32 could destroy itself like that? I'm curious which IC, datasheet and where it says that. I'm fairly new and I've already seen some nasty errata for one of their later ICs (PIC18F27Q43 RAM failure on startup which I really wanted to develop on) so I believe you on that.
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 01:12:29 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Bradlez 2020/07/19 03:37:29
5 (2)
It is written in different places, without being significantly highlighted. Refers to LPDDR2/LPDDR3.
 
For example:
1/ AN_2717 - https://www.microchip.com/wwwappnotes/appnotes.aspx?appnote=en606734
Page 81
Important: For LPDDR2/LPDDR3 devices, certain sequences shall be used to power off these
devices. Uncontrolled power-off sequences are destructive and can be applied only up to 400
times in the life of the device. Make sure to respect those sequences to ensure a long functional
life for your system. Refer to the manufacturer’s data sheet for the proper way to power off the
devices. Typically these rely upon an early detection of power failure and achieve a timely
power-off sequence through the execution of a high priority interrupt.
 
2/ SAMA5D27 Wireless SOM1 datasheet - http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM1-Datasheet-60001590b.pdf
Page 19
4.2.3.1 LPDDR2 Power-Off Sequence
The LPDDR2 power-off sequence must be controlled by software to preserve the LPDDR2 device.
In this sequence, the CKE signal should be low during the full period the power rails are powering down.
The power failure can be controlled by the embedded Voltage Supervisor (MIC842) and handled at system level (IRQ
on PD31). The LPDDR2 power-off sequence is applied using the bit LPDDR2_LPDDR3_PWOFF in the MPDDRC
Low-Power register (MPDDRC_LPR).
For more information, refer to the following documents:
• SAMA5D2 Series Data sheet available on https://www.microchip.com/, sections LPDDR2 Power Fail
Management and MPDDRC Low-Power Register
• Jedec Standard Low Power Double Data Rate 2 (LPDDR2), JESD209-2B
Note: An uncontrolled power-off sequence can be applied only up to 400 times in the life of an LPDDR2 device.
 
The bad thing is that you have to go through the software to turn off the voltage, which means that the processor must continue to run after the voltage is off on the board. This complicates the board itself.
 
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 01:19:47 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, the forum does not allow the above opinion to be changed in any way. That's why it's in this form, without coloring or bolding the text.
ric
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 01:47:48 (permalink)
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It's the live URL's that trigger the web server firewall when you try to edit the post.
 
If you use the "break link" button on all three before posting it should get through.
 

I also post at: PicForum
Links to useful PIC information: http://picforum.ric323.co...opic.php?f=59&t=15
NEW USERS: Posting images, links and code - workaround for restrictions.
To get a useful answer, always state which PIC you are using!
Bradlez
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 04:05:25 (permalink)
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Stefiff
It is written in different places, without being significantly highlighted. Refers to LPDDR2/LPDDR3.
 
For example:
1/ AN_2717 - https://www.microchip.com/wwwappnotes/appnotes.aspx?appnote=en606734
Page 81
Important: For LPDDR2/LPDDR3 devices, certain sequences shall be used to power off these
devices. Uncontrolled power-off sequences are destructive and can be applied only up to 400
times in the life of the device. Make sure to respect those sequences to ensure a long functional
life for your system. Refer to the manufacturer’s data sheet for the proper way to power off the
devices. Typically these rely upon an early detection of power failure and achieve a timely
power-off sequence through the execution of a high priority interrupt.
 
2/ SAMA5D27 Wireless SOM1 datasheet - http://ww1.microchip.com/downloads/en/DeviceDoc/ATSAMA5D27-WLSOM1-Datasheet-60001590b.pdf
Page 19
4.2.3.1 LPDDR2 Power-Off Sequence
The LPDDR2 power-off sequence must be controlled by software to preserve the LPDDR2 device.
In this sequence, the CKE signal should be low during the full period the power rails are powering down.
The power failure can be controlled by the embedded Voltage Supervisor (MIC842) and handled at system level (IRQ
on PD31). The LPDDR2 power-off sequence is applied using the bit LPDDR2_LPDDR3_PWOFF in the MPDDRC
Low-Power register (MPDDRC_LPR).
For more information, refer to the following documents:
• SAMA5D2 Series Data sheet available on https://www.microchip.com/, sections LPDDR2 Power Fail
Management and MPDDRC Low-Power Register
• Jedec Standard Low Power Double Data Rate 2 (LPDDR2), JESD209-2B
Note: An uncontrolled power-off sequence can be applied only up to 400 times in the life of an LPDDR2 device.
 
The bad thing is that you have to go through the software to turn off the voltage, which means that the processor must continue to run after the voltage is off on the board. This complicates the board itself.
 




Okay so I did a bit of digging myself. It turns out this is apparently standard for LPDDRx in general to prevent latch-up. I looked up "LPDDR3 "400 times"" on google and even NANYA and Micron RAM can be damaged in the same way. This is even part of the JEDEC specification for LPDDR2/3/4. I can't really find anything about this applying to DDRx other than not powering certain pins on power-up at the same time will cause latch-up. So I assume that if you're dealing with LPDDRx devices in general, you should already know that LPDDR must be powered down properly to prevent damage and the datasheet mentioning it shouldn't be a surprise at all. I guess it's fine if you're an industry professional or a graduate from university who'd probably be taught this or at least read the datasheet properly. But this would be a crazy trap for any hobbyist or inexperienced person who wants to deal with LPDDRx devices.
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 04:37:30 (permalink)
4 (1)
That such a thing exists is not a problem. It is obviously a property of technology. My question is why no special attention is paid to the Microchip documentation. To offer guidance and ideas for dealing with it. Obviously, chips with such memory will become more and more with increasing power. Now one can easily miss this very serious thing. I'm talking about amateurs and enthusiasts like me Smile: Smile
 
I had stepped up to buy such a processor, and it was good to see it. Good thing I have a habit of reading everything in detail. Otherwise, one 128 MB of RAM come to me in very handy.Smile: Smile
NorthGuy
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 06:53:17 (permalink)
3.5 (2)
Stefiff
BGA - bad.



They're not bad. The difference in price between 2- and 4- (or 6-) layer boards is very small. Moreover, going with 4-layer or 6-layer design makes your PCB smaller, so it may actually save money compared to 2-layer design. If you want to probe pins you can install test points on the PCB. Or, you can use JTAG boundary scan.
hevats
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 08:23:03 (permalink)
4 (1)
We rarely use the PIC32s primarily due to price + availability (our quantities are usually large), though we do use the 8 & 16 bits a lot. We often use BGA packages from other manufacturers.
 
Up until a few years back we too was very hesitant to touch BGAs, but now I quite like these packages. It may sound ironic but routing multi-layer PCBs with BGA(s) is easier than a double layer with TQFP(s). The difference in cost of a multi-layer vs 2 layer is not that much, could be offset by the size reduction. Which in some cases also means reduction in the enclosure size, packaging size, shipping costs etc. of the final product.
 
I do find the cost of Microchip's prototyping / development boards exorbitant. If the spec permits we usually design our own breakout boards with slotted notches that can be soldered on a base board (or add pinheaders to them). For some projects we do have to make the whole board though.
 
I would encourage everyone to take the plunge into BGAs where ever required, to me it was kind of like switching from old MPLAB to X... now going back feel like going back in time. I feel BGAs are here to stay no matter what vendor you choose. If the only issue is the package, maybe I can help you out a bit.
 
On the main topic of PIC32 being developed further, with our little insight & tiny insider knowledge, the MIPS based chips have been switched off to fade out slowly. Neither there is any real progress on RISC V... only ARM in the near future.
 
Our recent worry has been the entry level 8 bit chips. This is a very cost sensitive segment as they go into virtually everything we make. The numbers can become very large, very fast. Until recently the competition at this level was only from a couple of Taiwanese vendors, where most of our client and we ourselves would avoid the later. In the last few months the prices of STs 8 bit entry level chips have fallen to the level of Taiwanese options (we bought 10K quantity @ $0.15 a piece)  That makes selecting a PIC16 at 5 times the cost very difficult. I'm sure there would be some difference in peripherals or the core itself... but ST gives the compiler for free (from a different vendor but free) The chips are not meant for heavy lifting anyway, we could use anything that can run a few lines of code.
 
Overall there is a lot of confusion about the path microchip is taking both on 32bits as well as 8 bits. In the past we moved one of our ethernet design based on Harmony to a linux SoC as the cost was similar and development is much easier. Now we prefer to use linux + dspic33 as & when required, it has reduced our time to market drastically. Also, as I mentioned above we just started a new project based on ST 8 bit instead of PIC16. IMHO microchip needs a re-look at whats happening around, lower end price wars are getting fierce, higher end differences are getting erased, linux is going mainstream... and the way the automobile market is plunging only betting on car manufacturers may not work in the future (again IMHO)
Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 08:33:01 (permalink)
4 (1)
NorthGuy
Stefiff
BGA - bad.



They're not bad. The difference in price between 2- and 4- (or 6-) layer boards is very small. Moreover, going with 4-layer or 6-layer design makes your PCB smaller, so it may actually save money compared to 2-layer design. If you want to probe pins you can install test points on the PCB. Or, you can use JTAG boundary scan.




Obviously we live in a different world Smile: Smile
 
Something for an example that is used for prototypes. - ALLPCB site.
Choose a size, for example 100x100mm. For example 10 pieces. Select a dual-layer board, and the standard options below. See what the price is.
Then select 4 (or more) layers. Choose the thickness of the track - 4mil. Hole - 0.25/0.3mm. You can try other options. See the price.
Do you feel the difference in price only on the blank board?
 
Separately more expensive is the saturation with BGA. The design of the board is separate - slower and more expensive.
 
Approximately, at least for me the board is about 30 times more expensive and much slower to design.
 
Bradlez
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 08:36:36 (permalink)
5 (1)
 
What baffles me is why they didn't design the IC so that it automatically deals with such issue, considering it's a complete microcontroller and not standalone LPDDRx RAM. If you're supposed to code a power down sequence anyways, why couldn't they make it so it would do that power down sequence for you? This IC was released late 2017 so I'd expect Microchip to move beyond this kind of awkwardness at this point.
DominusT
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 09:07:41 (permalink)
5 (2)

Stefiff
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Re: Is MCHP still developing the PIC32? 2020/07/19 09:18:47 (permalink)
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DominusT Change and Trace Width/ Spacing to 4 mil.
post edited by Stefiff - 2020/07/19 09:20:36
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