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PIC - General Instrument
< general instrument

PIC1655A GI.jpg
A PIC1655A on a board
Developer General Instrument
Manufacturer General Instrument
Type microcontrollers
Production 1976-1987
Architecture 8-bit, Harvard
Word size 8 bit
1 octets
2 nibbles
Technology nMOS
Clock 200 kHz-1 MHz
Package DIP18, DIP28, DIP40, DIP64

The GI PIC Series (Programmable Intelligent Computer Series) was a family of 8-bit microcontrollers first introduce in 1976 by General Instrument. This family is the direct ancestor of the modern Microchip PIC family.


By the mid-70s GI had a pretty successful family of microprocessors known as the CP1600. The CP1600, however was losing market share due to increasing competition (e.g. 8086, 68K, et al). One of the major shortcomings of the CP1600 family was its limited I/O capabilities. The PIC, which originally stood for Peripheral Interface Controller, was the support chip they designed to help in that specific area. In 1976 GI introduce the first members of the PIC family the PIC1650 and its rom-less version, the PIC1664. Realizing its potential as a stand-alone chip, the GI promptly renamed it Programmable Intelligent Computer. By the early 80s, GI expanded the family by introducing a number of addition members with slightly larger memory. PICs have found their way into almost every area where embedded electronics are used.

In 1987 General Instrument underwent a large organizational restructuring which resulted in the microelectronics division being spun off as a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1989 Microchip Technology was incorporated. Microchip Technology most widely known product line is the PIC family which can trace its roots back to GI's original PIC. Microchip's first few chips include the PIC16C5x Series, PIC16C64 Series, PIC16C71 Series, and , PIC16C84 Series, all part of the PIC extended family.


Part I/O Ports ROM Notes
PIC1645 12 256x12 bit
PIC1650 32 512x12 bit
PIC1655 20 512x12 bit
PIC1656 20 512x12 bit Interrupt support
PIC1664 32 512x12 bit Sample/development chip
PIC1670 32 1024x12 bit


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See also[edit]

designerGeneral Instrument +
full page namegeneral instrument/pic +
instance ofmicrocontroller family +
manufacturerGeneral Instrument +
packageDIP18 +, DIP28 +, DIP40 + and DIP64 +
technologynMOS +
word size8 bit (1 octets, 2 nibbles) +