May 27th 2007

Unlike the process of developing the normal DIP package PIC, I foresee a problem when we developing SOIC package PIC (and other SMD packages also). That is we need to either implement in-circuit programming or design an additional PCB just for debug and reprogram the PIC and do the development on that PCB. Only until the code is bug free we then mount the PIC onto the final PCB.
The first choice is to implement in-circuit programming, this means we will utilize the in circuit serial programming capability (ICSP) of the PIC16F76 and add in the necessary component in our PCB. By doing this we will be able to update our firmware anytime we like and it make it very easy to do debugging. However the drawback is that we will definitely increase the size of our PCB with what is considered redundant in our final product. Since our objective is to design some thing compact and small, this might not be a good solution.
The second approach is to design two version of PCB. They will be mostly the same. The only different is that on one PCB we use IC socket instead of mounting the PIC directly to the board and all development work will be carried out on that PCB. Although we need to design 2 PCB version, we can guarantee a small PCB design without unnecessary components.

If we opt to take the second approach, we would need the adapter for our current programmer board so that we can program the SOIC package PIC. It can be found at the following website

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