Searching \ for 'ICE-PICK vs PICMASTER' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: techref.massmind.org/techref/microchip/devices.htm?key=pic
Search entire site for: 'ICE-PICK vs PICMASTER'.

Truncated match.
PICList Thread
'ICE-PICK vs PICMASTER'
1997\05\16@032718 by FrankT

picon face
Anybody know the differences besides the huuuuge price difference(x8) ?
Does anybody worked with them both?  
Comments please.

Frank Temmerman

1997\05\19@005453 by tjaart

flavicon
face
FrankT wrote:
>
> Anybody know the differences besides the huuuuge price difference(x8) ?
> Does anybody worked with them both?
> Comments please.
>
> Frank Temmerman

I've got the ICEPIC and the PICMaster. The software for the ICEPIC
has more bugs than MPLAB (even more). I only use the ICEPIC when I
emulate a multi-PIC system, otherwise I try to avoid using it.

The PICMaster is well worth the extra money. The price difference
is nothing compared to the income it will generate for you.

--
Friendly Regards

Tjaart van der Walt
spam_OUTtjaartTakeThisOuTspamwasp.co.za
_____________________________________________________________
| Another sun-deprived R&D Engineer slaving away in a dungeon |
|             WASP International  http://wasp.co.za           |
|             GSM and GPS value-added applications            |
|  Voice : +27-(0)11-622-8686   |   Fax : +27-(0)11-622-8973  |
|_____________________________________________________________|

1997\05\19@094732 by trogers

flavicon
face
Always check the trace buffer specs of any in circuit emulator. Cheaper
emulators don't have trace buffers at all; some middle priced emulators
have trace buffers, but only allow liner recording. The real thing will
allow complex triggering (including external lines) that can toggle the
trace on and off. This allows you to (for example) watch the critical
part of an interrupt routine that only screws up once every 30 hours,
stop on the screwup, and relate the last bunch of interrupt executions
to the crash. If you had to record all of the execution states for the
whole test, you would need a real state (RI or NH?) to hold the trace
buffer.

-- Tom Rogers  VP-R&D  Time Tech Inc.

1997\05\19@235109 by Andrew Warren

face
flavicon
face
FrankT <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> Anybody know the differences [between the ICEPIC and PIC-Master
> emulators] besides the huuuuge price difference(x8) ? Does anybody
> worked with them both?  Comments please.

Frank:

The following is a copy of a message I posted here about 15 months
ago.  Two things to note:

   1.  I incorrectly identified the manufacturer of teh ICEPIC as
   "RF Technologies".  They're actually called "RF Solutions".

   2.  In the time since I wrote the review, Microchip has
   expressed their intent to support the ICEPIC emulator in their
   MPLAB environment.  As yet, though, there's no firm date for
   this.

Ok... Here's the message:

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------

To:               PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject:          ICEPIC Emulator Evaluation
Date sent:        Thu, 1 Feb 1996 02:04:20 -0800

Dudes:

Some time ago, in response to a question posted here, I mentioned that
I was evaluating RF Technologies' "ICEPIC" emulator and would post a
brief report when I was done.  Before I do, I should mention that my
company has no involvement, financial or otherwise, with RF
Technologies.  I also have no personal relationship with the ICEPIC's
creator, Amar Palacherla or with his partner.

Amar designed Microchip's PIC-Master emulator, which I use every day
and believe to be the world's best emulator for ANY microcontroller,
but on the other hand, I once had to spend hours debugging some 16C71
code he wrote for a client of mine.  Therefore, my personal feelings
for him are absolutely neutral, and in no way influenced my report.

Ok...

The ICEPIC is based on the same bondout chips used by Microchip in
their PIC-Master, and its software has a look and feel similar to that
of Microchip's MPLAB software.

Unlike the PIC-Master, ICEPIC has no hardware-trace capability.  It
also has no external breakpoint input, nor does it have a "trigger"
output or the 8 generic inputs PIC-Master provides.  It also uses a
serial interface as opposed to the PIC-Master's plug-in ISA card.

The serial interface is both good and bad.  It's great for laptop
users, anyone who's run out of slots in his PC, or people who need to
share the emulator among multiple computers.  However, serial
interfaces are pretty slow; even at 57,600 baud, step-by-step
"animation" of one's program (with register-refresh on) is pretty
slow.

The ICEPIC comes in a rather cheap-looking box (which is ok, I guess,
since it costs only $700 versus $2300 for the PIC-Master).  The
"personality modules" that configure the emulator for a particular PIC
fit inside the case, which is fastened with two screws.  It's a little
tedious to switch personality modules (or even change clock speeds;
the oscillator's inside the box, too), but enclosing the whole
emulator DOES make it less likely that you'll accidentally short the
thing out (a real possibility with the PIC-Master's fully-exposed
probes).

PIC-Master features that are missing from the ICEPIC (these aren't
bugs; they're inherent in the ICEPIC's design):

   No external clock capability.

   Incomplete emulation of Power-On Reset.

   No Power-Up Timer, no Oscillator Startup Timer, and the watchdog
   timer doesn't work in single-step mode.

   Weak source-level debugging.  ICEPIC displays source code in an
   integrated editor very similar to the WIndows Notepad.  While the
   emulator talks to the editor just fine (updating the cursor
   position to match the Program Counter, etc.), there's no
   communication BACK from the source-code window; you can't set
   breakpoints, change the PC, etc., without leaving the editor
   window and selecting the Program Memory window.

The most important PIC-Master feature that COULD be added to ICEPIC,
but isn't:

   Robust breakpoint capability.  Currently, breakpoints are allowed
   only on "Address Match".  Even in "Animate" (continuous, automatic
   single-step) mode, there's no way to break on Register Contents or
   Boolean Expressions.  Breakpoints also can't be saved between
   sessions, they can't be set by specifying ranges, they can't be
   individually turned on and off, etc.  All in all, ICEPIC handles
   breakpoints pretty poorly.

Aside from the above-mentioned design issues, there are a huge number
of bugs in the current version (1.52) of the ICEPIC software.  Most of
these are of the "garbage in, garbage out" variety; there's EXTREMELY
little error-checking of user input.

For instance, ICEPIC (which expects decimal values to be entered
normally and hexadecimal numbers to be entered with the "0x" prefix)
accepts as legal numeric input "0xA", "0A", "0QWERTY", and
"0x!@#$%^&*()".  Only the first is interpreted properly as decimal 10;
the next two are interpreted as 0 and the last was variously
interpreted as decimal 88, 17, etc.  No error messages are displayed
when entering meaningless data like this, nor are errors generated
when you try to directly modify the Program Memory with impossible
instructions like (when emulating the 16C5x) "MOVF TRISA,W".

There's also a big problem with the user interface.  Most of the
windows are WAY too big; as I wrote in the report to my client, the
ICEPIC screen looks as though it were designed by Fisher-Price.
Additionally, there are numerous interface quirks that quickly become
annoying.

If any of you have used the PIC-Master for more than a year or two,
you'll remember that when it was introduced, its character was similar
to ICEPIC's:  Great hardware with only mediocre software. True,
ICEPIC's "mediocre" is a step or two below the original PIC-Master's,
but RF Technologies doesn't have Microchip's resources, so I guess
that's to be expected.

I believe that the software issues I mentioned are likely to be
corrected soon. Once they are, ICEPIC will be a pretty cool product.

Personally, I'll keep my PIC-Masters -- I use the hardware trace and
the external probes a LOT -- but I'd have no problem recommending the
ICEPIC to anyone looking for a reasonably-priced emulator that
supports the entire PIC16/17 range of products.

Even with its current software, the ICEPIC isn't ALL that bad... The
software is sometimes irritating, but the hardware is solid and (aside
from the few design issues mentioned above) emulation is completely
accurate.

------- End of Forwarded Message ------

-Andy

=== Andrew Warren - .....fastfwdKILLspamspam.....ix.netcom.com
=== Fast Forward Engineering, Vista, California
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

1997\05\20@010848 by tjaart

flavicon
face
Andrew Warren wrote:

> Personally, I'll keep my PIC-Masters -- I use the hardware trace and
> the external probes a LOT -- but I'd have no problem recommending the
> ICEPIC to anyone looking for a reasonably-priced emulator that
> supports the entire PIC16/17 range of products.
>
> Even with its current software, the ICEPIC isn't ALL that bad... The
> software is sometimes irritating, but the hardware is solid and (aside
> from the few design issues mentioned above) emulation is completely
> accurate.

You got the nail right on its head there. I would only add that the
extra month or two of bread and water would (probably) be worth it
in the long run.

The local service we get on the PICMaster is incredible. I had a
problem with a 16J pod. The local engineer came to our offices to
try and sort it out. When it turned out to be a real problem, he
swapped the pod immediately, and at NO cost.

Since I don't use the ICEPIC that often, I haven't had the
opportunity to test the service, but I don't think it will be as good,
even though it is also done by the Mchip people.

--
Friendly Regards

Tjaart van der Walt
EraseMEtjaartspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTwasp.co.za
_____________________________________________________________
| Another sun-deprived R&D Engineer slaving away in a dungeon |
|             WASP International  http://wasp.co.za           |
|             GSM and GPS value-added applications            |
|  Voice : +27-(0)11-622-8686   |   Fax : +27-(0)11-622-8973  |
|_____________________________________________________________|

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 1997 , 1998 only
- Today
- New search...