The TICkit™ of mini-computers are
small programmable computing devices which are technically
"micro-controllers", or more accurately
"micro-interpreters". These small devices can execute
relatively large and complex programs. They are optimized for I/O
controlling, which means that they can control a wide variety of
electrical interfaces from lights and switches to motors, printers, GPS
devices, LCD screens and so on.. In addition to very capable I/O
functions, it also has a great deal of data processing capability. The
versions of the TICkit family are listed below.
TICkit 83 (28 pin) and TICkit
84 (40 pin) - 512K EEprom, 240 bytes RAM, 32 bit Floating point
math, Multi-thread, User Assembly Language
TICkit 63 (28 pin) and TICkit
74 (40 pin) - 256K EEprom, 128 bytes RAM, 32 bit Floating point math
TICkit 62 (28 pin) - 64K
EEprom, 96 byte RAM, 32 bit signed Integer math
TICkit 57 (28 pin ) - 64K
EEprom, 48 bytes RAM, 32 bit signed Integer math
All TICkit devices support
advanced programming concepts like structure, encapsulation, and
interrupt processing. The latest in the TICkit line also supports Hybrid
assembly language routines, internal token storage and even
multi-threading. You can get a sense of how capable the FBasic
programming language is by consulting the applications notes or the
knowledge base for documents and examples highlighting
These devices are programmed
using software that runs on your PC. The software is called an
Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and is available for free
download. We ask that you register your software for a small fee if and
when you use the TICkit for any commercial program design. This ensures it's
continued advancement. The IDE can also be purchased as part of a more
complete development system. More details on the
micro-computers are RISC processor chips made by Microchip® called PIC
processors. The PIC processors are relatively tiny micro-controllers
designed for embedded applications. Protean implants special firmware
called an interpreter which vastly expands the addressing capability and
implements a large library of pre-written I/O routines. This combination
yields a very small and inexpensive device that looks and acts very much
like a small desk-top computer. (mini-computer,
micro controller, micro-interpreter)
The TICkit interpreter has been
implemented in four versions since its inception. These versions are
identified by the numerical designation of the PIC processor they are
implemented on. Protean Logic offers all versions
and revisions of interpreter ICs as long as the native PIC chips are
available. This ensures no designs will be orphaned within a reasonable
life time. Protean Logic suggests that the latest TICkit version
be used for new designs. This provides expanded capabilities and
benefits for the end user.
We understand that some existing products require
continue to be available. Protean Logic maintains older versions
to support customers having this need.
Every version of the TICkit can
be purchased in several forms. These forms vary from the isolated TICkit
processing IC to complete development systems with prototyping areas.
The table below illustrates the various TICkit forms available.
TICkit 83/84 represents a major advancement in PIC based
micro-interpreter technology. The TICkit 83 (28 pin) and 84 (40 pin
version) have all the capabilities of the 63/74 with the following
External EEprom storage
addressing capabilities to 512K in 8 I2C serial EEproms
(24LC512). This space can be used for program storage, Data
storage or audio playback storage.
Internal Token storage -
Programs up to 7K can be stored inside the TICkit IC. Internal
tokens fetch faster and provide greater security than code
stored in external EEproms.
User interface for
implementing Assembly language routines in the TICkit IC. This
allows users to write special high speed routines for things like DRAM
refresh or high speed peripheral interfaces.
More RAM memory variable
stack space. This is organized at 112 bytes for variables, 96
bytes for stack, and 32 bytes of scratch pad for convenient
communications between assembly and FBasic routines.
Stack and Memory can be
split for multi-threading capabilities. TICkit devices can
actually run two programs at once!
Ability to flash update
the interpreter in circuit. This allows revisions of the
interpreter to be placed into existing designs.
Enhanced audio playback
The TICkit 63 or 74 (40 pin
version) has all the capabilities of the 62 with the following
EEprom Address Space increases
to 256K from the 64K maximum of the 62.
32 bit Floating point
Pulse routines to
control up to 4 RC style servos simultaneously.
Audio Playback from
EEprom (8 bit)
Frequency output with up
to 4 voices (4 different frequencies)
PCAT keyboard input
routine to attach economical PC keyboards as a text input
RS232 reception and
transmission in background
Second CCP output/input
TICkit 74 has 8bit A/D
128 bytes of RAM for
variables and stack space
increases over that of the 62.
Time base interrupts.
One-wire support for
dallas semiconductor ICs
- Not Recommended for new designs
The TICkit 62 has all the
capabilities of the 57 with the following additional
96 bytes of RAM.
SSP unit for 3 wire or 2
wire serial busses (I2C or SPI)
CCP unit for generating
pulses or measuring pulses in background
Speed increases over
that of the 57.
Better pin handling
- Not Recommended for new designs
The TICkit 57 is the first
TICkit. This device was introduced in 1996.
48 bytes of RAM
2K or 64K EEprom program
and data space.
Pin input and output
routines on 16 pins
RS232 in and out on any
of 16 pins.
Pulse generation or
measurement on any of 16 pins
Interrupt input pin for
hardware initiated sub-routine.
Programmed in a
structured dialect of BASIC called FBasic.
All TICkit processors
require the TICkit IDE software to be programmed. The IDE is a windows
application which runs on any Windows 95,98, 2000, ME, XP computer
with a serial port. Once the TICkit device is programmed the PC
and the IDE software are no longer necessary. The IDE software has
the following features:
area program editor - This feature allows you to edit multiple files at one time.
your program into a token file which is downloaded into the
TICkit. The compiler supports many advanced capabilities which
make for better programs.
Structured flow control
Compile time -
files for better organized code.
support - For target TICkits (83/84) that allow user written
assembly language functions.
module re-usable code blocks.
symbolically stepping through code and monitoring variables.
Complex EEprom data
structures, Arrays, and Records - For extensive embedded data