i have been watching this thread with interest - my project should become commercial within a year if it all goes to plan
Did you go on Dragon's Den??? LOL
however i am concerned i have limited my future options by decisions i make today
I have already been led up the garden path by another hardware solution, and don't want to waste any more time
Here's my two cents. Again, you did not provide any information about your project, so any advice I or any other person gives you is generic and may not be the right one for your application/project. But hopefully will make you understand a few things needed for you to make an informed decision.
AVR uses a free compiler that is at least 10 (or more) years old. PIC C compilers for free are quite new and there isn't many of them. So when it comes to compilers, I guess the cheapest most reliable solution is on the AVR side.
In terms of chips, I don't think there's a bootloader available for PIC microcontrollers that is widely available as the Arduino. So again, if you're planning to make a project, going with an AVR chip will most likely be a lot faster to get it going.
In terms of hardware, I don't see as many boards available for PICs as I see for the Arduino platform. So, if you're planning to use some peripheral hardware, the AVR wil be easier to get ahead with less investment and headache, compared with the PIC.
In terms of reliability, they're both good and the most important aspect on the reliability is the software and the hardware design and not the chip itself.
In terms of price, they are similarly priced... but, if you need to buy a compiler that cost will be important considering the amount that you're planning to sell.
So in the end, the question if PIC is better than AVR boils down to two things:
- Does one brand provide some in-chip hardware or format (CAN bus, USB comm, higher true speeds, smaller package, wireless communications, etc, etc...) that the other one doesn't.
- Which chip is more familiar to the project team or designer?
does any one on here prefer pic - is the language similar to C ?
I think this is the wrong place to ask... we're mostly biased towards AVR. I know I am.