Lesson 1: Introduction

The PIC12F508 chip is one of the simplest microcontrollers available, having an 8-bit CPU, just 25 bytes of RAM, and six external interface pins. While these specifications might sound comically small, the chip is surprisingly versatile and has the same basic architecture as you would find in an Arduino or even desktop class system—albeit in a much simpler form. For this reason it is an ideal device to learn with.

Everything you need to know about the chip is contained in its datasheet. Don't be intimidated by the size of this document as it is actually quite easy to follow. We will cover the key parts as we progress through these lessons, but for now just remember that if you have any questions about the chip the answer will be in the datasheet somewhere.

These tutorials will assume you have a basic understanding of high level computer programming. It will also help immensely if you understand binary numbers and hexadecimal notation, as the simulator makes extensive use of these number formats:

Decimal format: 162 Hexadecimal format: A2h or 0xA2 Binary format: 10100010b

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