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Microchip has come out with several new microprocessors for use with USB: 18F2455, 18F2550, 18F4455, 18F4550. These chips have many advantages over the first generation USB chips (read about the 16C745, and 16C765) and I would suggest using these chips for new projects. The key advantages of the 18F* series USB chips are:

Microchip has provided sample firmware for these chips that are likely very useful for developing projects. The firmware is available at Full Speed USB Solutions. Since the Microchip website changes frequently, this can be found by going to microchip.com, clicking on 'Technical Support' under 'Support', then clicking on 'Design Home Page' from the menu on the left, clicking on 'Application Design Centers', selecting 'USB' from the connectivity solutions, and finally picking 'Full-Speed USB'.

Updated to August, 2006

A number of helpful visitors emailed me regarding programmers for the 18F series chips in response to my posting below - all responses are very much appreciated. I'll quickly summarize the response I received. I have not had an opportunity to try any of these out so I'm just passing out what others have told me.

My requirements for a programmer are: 1) cheap; 2) USB support (rather than serial cable); 3) zif socket; 4) no external power supply.

If you have other suggestions, email me and I'll keep adding to the list. There seems to be enough programmers out there that do what I want to do, now it is just a matter of finding some time to get back into PIC programming and USB device development.

Update - as of August, 2005

I bought some of these chips but unfortunately the PIC programmer I have does not support these chips, yet. Originally, they said they would be supported by the end of June, 2005, but now it is into August and still no word. If someone can recommend a good, relatively cheap programmer for these chips, contact me. As soon as I get a working programmer, I will write more fully about these chips with downloadable code and working examples as I've done with the 16C745.


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