PIC microcontrollers are a family of specialized microcontroller chips produced by Microchip Technology in Chandler, Arizona. The acronym PIC stands for "peripheral interface controller," although that term is rarely used nowadays. A microcontroller is a compact microcomputer designed to govern the operation of embedded systems in motor vehicles, robots, office machines, medical devices, mobile radios, vending machines, home appliances, and various other devices. A typical microcontroller includes a processor, memory, and peripherals.
The PIC microcontrollers appeal to hobbyists and experimenters, especially in the fields of electronics and robotics. Key features include wide availability, low cost, ease of reprogramming with built-in EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory), an extensive collection of free application notes, abundant development tools, and a great deal of information available on the Internet. The PIC microcontrollers often appear under the brand name PICmicro.
Every PIC microcontroller has a set of registers that also function as RAM (random access memory). Special purpose control registers for on-chip hardware resources are also mapped into the data space. Every PIC has a stack that saves return addresses. The stack was not software-accessible on the earlier versions of the PIC, but this limitation was removed in later devices.
Continue reading about PIC microcontrollers:
Picprojects describes several projects that PIC enthusiasts can develop and test in their own labs.
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica (Netherlands) answers frequently asked questions about the PIC family.