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Sat Aug 9 10:07:51 BST 2008

Microchip programming protocol

Towards a zero-cost standard platform for Microchip PIC.  All PICs
support the microchip programming protocol, consisting of:

1 /MCLR Vpp
2 Vdd
3 GND
4 PGD
5 PGC
6 PGM

( see http://www.prc68.com/I/ICD2.shtml )

PICs without charge pump need 13V Vpp and can't program themselves.


It is necessary to split the development workflow into two parts:

  * Single chip applications: this can use a combined full programmer
    + debug monitor to also support chips that need Vpp. This is the
    one useful for teaching, so it makes sense to make the tethering
    hardware as simple as possible, i.e. to not depend on a Microchip
    programmer.

  * Networked applications: here interconnect needs to be as simple as
    possible, so the 5-wire programmer protocol is impractical.  Cost
    of tethering hardware isn't critical, so can have more complexity.
    It's best to stick with something standard here, i.e. I2C or CAN
    bus.  The topology can be symmetric: programmer host interface can
    be just one of the nodes.



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