- Published: Wednesday, 09 June 2010
- Written by Graham Mitchell
- Hits: 40175
Packing a 64Mhz PIC (18F25K20), the Amicus18 is an embedded system platform based on a simple open hardware design for a single-board microcontroller, with embedded I/O support and a standard programming language.
The Amicus18 board communicates with a personal computer via a USB interface, which presents itself as a standard serial port on the PC. It can be programmed directly through this port so there is no need for a dedicated programmer. If the need arises, there is an ICSP (In Circuit Serial Programming) interface suitable for all programmers, but tailored for the Microchip PICKit 2 programmer.
- 18F25K20 at the core
- 64Mhz operation (equates to 16 million instructions per second)
- 32768 bytes of flash memory
- 1536 bytes of RAM
- Nine 10-bit ADC inputs
- Two 10-bit PWM outputs
- Two comparators
- USART, SPI, I2C
- Can be programmed directly with USB cable
- Pre-loaded bootloader
- 3 and 5 volt linear regulators onboard
- Free development software (supported by Crownhill, the developers of Proton BASIC)
- Not restricted to any one program language (can use C18, Swordfish, anything!)
- Interface for all of the microcontroller pins
- Lots of shields which expand the Amicus funtionality
Crownhill have really gone all out with this PIC version of the Arduino. The programming language is a version of Crownhill’s flagship compiler: Proton BASIC. The Amicus version of the software is completely free, with no restrictions.
If you prefer to program with Swordfish or C18 then your in-luck - Any PIC microcontroller language can be used with the Amicus18 hardware.
To expand the funtionality of the Amicus, shields developed by Crownhill can be used. A shield is basically a development board that connects straight to the Amicus. Here's an example of the simplest of shields, the Companion.
Companion Shield. Connects directly
to the Amicus for rapid prototyping.
Ethernet Amicus18 Shield
An easy way to connect to the Internet with the Amicus.
GPS Amicus18 Shield
The Amicus GPS shield contains a 16 channel ZX4120 GPS receiver, as well as a 16k byte (128 kbit) serial (I2C) eeprom, and a 1.5 Volt, 12mm battery socket in order to maintain the receiver's built-in RTC (Real Time Clock).
Bluetooth Amicus18 ShieldConnect to the world wirelessly with the Bluetooth shield.
Reliably connect and talk to another bluetooth device, or your PC.
SmartCard Amicus18 Shield
Enter the fascinating world of Smartcard interfacing with the Smartcard Shield. Program your own smartcards and add that extra bit of security to your next project.
LCD Amicus18 Shield
Compatible with both Alphanumeric and Graphic LCDs
GSM Amicus18 Shield
Connect to anywhere in the world with the GSM modem shield. Send and receive SMS messages easily, allowing a huge range of remote monitoring and controlling projects.
Amicus Hardware is an open design, the schematics and design data are available for download free of charge. If you want to make changes to the bootloader, then good news - it too is open source and freely downloadable.
- MPLAB IDE
- Amicus IDE (Version 126.96.36.199) - You need MPLAB installed first!
- PDF: Amicus18 Hardware Manual (Revision 1)
- PDF: Proton Amicus18 Compiler (Revision 1)
- PDF: Amicus Shield (v1.0)
- Amicus18 USB Bootloader Source Code and Firmware
- PDF: Amicus18 Companion Shield Manual (Revision 1)
- PDF: PIC18F25K20 Data Sheet
- PDF: PIC18F25K20 Errata Notes
I'm lucky enough to have an Amicus in the mail and on its way to me. I'll share any projects or interesting info along the way.