Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

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Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby ian » Thu May 26, 2011 3:00 am

I'm going to talk to a Microchip guy about the new Arduino compatible pic32 things they're doing. Any questions you'd like asked?

I'm gonna ask about 5volt issues (pic 32 is 3v3), and request PPS on pic32. But mostly I want to ask why they're freeloading on open source, but keeping their special sauce to themselves ;)
https://github.com/chipKIT32/chipKIT32- ... icense.txt
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby octal » Thu May 26, 2011 3:22 am

Hi Ian,
I think that 3.3v is no more an issue these days, almost all boards are 3.3v, and most arduino shields are coming in 3.3V (with onboard 3.3 regulator) because almost all sensors are 3.3.
The main question is, as you said, how do they offer themselves the lux of accessing arduino open community market without doing any effort. They use GCC (open source) and does not give the sources of the libs nor the accompagning tools like the linker, and they even forbid any reverse eng and any work with their tools.
This a shame from a company making 99% of its money from selling silicon chips and tools!!!
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby FourthDr » Thu May 26, 2011 9:32 am

Octal:

I agree! That said. My question would be how would I take advantage of the speed and the extra capabilities of the PIC32 in my current arduinio projects? And since this is a closed board how could I transfer a working project to a custom board like I would with the regular arduino? I usually pull the chip and drop it into a custom board that has only what I need for the project.

Regards....


P.S. Did I win?? :-D
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby ian » Thu May 26, 2011 9:38 am

Great question. I think the hardware is open. Just the compiler has a strange "no changes" license.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby LisandroP » Thu May 26, 2011 9:40 am

The powerful MCU in the chipKit is very welcome, ¿but Is Microchip working today, in any fashion, with the Arduino crew to unify efforts, or is this only a ploy not to be left outside all the action?

¿Do we have documentation on known incompatibilities with existing Arduino shields?

I'm also worried about the licenses used and the lack of open source tools for the device.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby RockyMountainCoder » Thu May 26, 2011 10:02 am

The pic32 is nice because of the 32bit architecture. How does that fit with the non-32bit Arduino crowd? For instance these boards are compatible with current Arduino libs, but once I write code using any 32bit feature aren't I stuck with the pic32? So then the only advantage would be accessories? I like being able to use any Arduino I pull from the box... any creative ways to solve this? Is this just the tradeoff of using the pic32, kinda like he netmf boards?
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby ian » Thu May 26, 2011 10:05 am

Just a note, I found the hardware files and they are CC BY-SA, t hat's great. The bootloader will also be open source, but it is not posted yet:
\http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?NavPath=2,719,896&Prod=CHIPKIT-UNO32 (files at bottom)

@Rocky - I guess it is targeted so the boards are interchangeable. The MPIDE still supports the AVR boards too. Just starting to read up on it for the interview.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby Markus Gritsch » Thu May 26, 2011 10:14 am

FourthDr wrote:Octal:

And since this is a closed board how could I transfer a working project to a custom board like I would with the regular arduino?


Why is the board closed? I thought the design files are available and are Open Hardware? Am I wrong?
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby Markus Gritsch » Thu May 26, 2011 10:18 am

My Question would be what's the difference between the ChipKIT compiler, and the C32 compiler. Both are gcc derived, but C32 restricts the optimization level to max. O1 and the full version costs big $. The ChipKIT one has no such restrictions, is free, and even supports C++! Cannot make sense of this.

On a sidenote: How can the C32 be closed source, if it is a derived work from the LGPL GCC?
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby tcmichals » Thu May 26, 2011 10:21 am

I was working on porting the Microchip libraries over to open source GCC and wanted to get clarification on on the license, after a few tickets exchanges I could not release the code to the public. This is due to the license agreement in the PIC32 library, you are free to modify but not repost modifications.

Also, was changing the register layouts to use a #define instead of the linker options to map data. Also, new bootloader, getting rid of MicroChip ROM code, its in boot loader for debugging. So a clean boot loader and app.

I was using openocd debugging programs etc, everything was fine until that moment, so, just stopped all development on PIC32.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby tcmichals » Thu May 26, 2011 10:27 am

Also it would be nice to take the PICkit3 and add it to openocd. Then you have a complete open source solution.

My goal, was to hide it was a MIPS, thus the same API code etc would run on a PIC32 or ARM. Using the same debugger API, etc. Oh well, it was a good idea.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby teedeeus » Thu May 26, 2011 10:42 am

My question(s):

Since the chipKit can compile Arduino code, are the chipKit developers going to contribute open source libraries and library modifications to the official Arduino IDE? And when the Arduino team releases a new version of the IDE, will they recompile their IDE so both Arduino developers and chipKit developers can use the same version of the IDE? Or will chipKit users be stuck using version mpide-22 when the official Arduino IDE has moved forward? I would like to see some parity between the mpide and the official Arduino IDE. I know that some delay is to be expected, but I would like to know how long that delay might be.

-teedeeus
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby smi1973 » Thu May 26, 2011 10:50 am

My question is in the Ethernet area.
Is the Arduino IP API supported ?

Best regards
Søren
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby twoerner » Thu May 26, 2011 11:01 am

I'm not 100% familiar with the PIC32 line (just the PIC 12/16/18 so far) but it seems that this product is, essentially, very similar to the various PIC32 starter kits (PIC32 starter kit, PIC32 USB starter kit, PIC32 ethernet starter kit) with a new layout and a couple headers placed in the Arduino locations (it uses the exact same processor). I'm curious to know what, if any, differences there are between the two since this board goes for ~$50, the PIC32 SB (DM320001) goes for ~$50, USB II starter kit (DM320003-2) ~$55, and ethernet start kit (DM320004) ~$72.

Is this the PIC32 ethernet starter kit for $50 instead of $72?

Any chance any of the PIC32 starter kit daughter boards might be compatible with this device? In other words, does it have (or will it have, or could it have) any connectors for the PICtail devices or the I/O expansion board? If so could it be used with the graphics options?

The PICkit2 was open, and spawned lots of interest. But subsequent programmers are closed. I wonder what happened that Microchip tried being open but decided to close down rather than open up? Thanks, though, for using GCC and making the modifications available.

Since the devel tools are GCC, I wonder if anyone has tried to port Linux to the starter boards, or perhaps to this new board? A quick search finds people using Linux for development, but not necessarily porting Linux to a PIC32.
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Re: Microchip Arduino thing interview questions?

Postby twoerner » Thu May 26, 2011 11:12 am

Markus Gritsch wrote:On a sidenote: How can the C32 be closed source, if it is a derived work from the LGPL GCC?


See: http://sourceforge.net/projects/microchipopen/
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