Arizona Microchip are the company that makes the Peripheral Interrupt Controller microcontroller ICs, better known simply as PIC chips. These amazingly versatile and powerful devices are low cost and ideal for experimentation in embedded control, and for educational purposes. They are for instance the ideal way to introduce youngsters to electronics and programming.
Much more information on them can be found at their website http://www.microchip.com/
In order to assist developers and experimenters, the company very generously allows a small number of sample parts to be obtained to allow evaluation and for student experiments.
Last week, I requested samples of two devices, the older but venerable 16LF84, and the 8-pin 12F683. The '84 is specified in a CW decoding unit I wish to build, whilst the 12F683 I selected as an ideal experimental device for teaching. Both arrived today.
I am now waiting on the samples of the huge 16F883 and 887 devices, with their phenominal number of I/O pins (35 in the '887!)
It is so nice to see a company like Microchip supporting experimentation and education in this way
If only a couple of RF parts companies would follow their example!