Products using microprocessors generally fall into two categories. The first category uses high-performance microprocessors such as the Pentium in applications where system performance is critical. We have an entire book dedicated to this topic, The 80x86 IBM PC and Compatible Computers, Volumes / and //, from Prentice Hall, in the second category of applications, performance is secondary; issues of cost, space, power, and rapid development arc more critical than raw processing power. The microprocessor for this category is often called a microcontroller.
This book is for the second category of applications. The PIC 18 is a widely used microcontroller. There are many reasons for this, including the existence of massive support in both software and hardware by Microchip Technology. This book is intended for use in college-level courses teaching microcontrollers and embedded systems. It not only establishes a foundation of Assembly language programming, but also provides a comprehensive treatment of PIC 18 interfacing for engineering students. From this background, the design and interfacing of microcontrollcr-based embedded systems can be explored. This book can also be used by practicing technicians, hardware engineers, computer scientists, and hobbyists. It is an ideal source for those building stand-alone projects, or projects in which data is collected and fed into a PC for distribution on a network.