@Duane: Max - I was brining up a small board based on a varient if PIC16F MCU that I hadn't used before....
On the one hand I love Microchip -- their PICs have beet really useful -- did you see my What's the Most Popular MCU of All Time? blog? I think the PIC16F family have sold more than 7 billion units (eeek).
Having said this, their 8-bit architecture is "esoteric" to say the least -- you can program them in C, but the architecture is rooted in the past and is not ideal for the task. By comparison, the 8-bit Atmel AVR architecture (as used in the Arduino Uno, for example) was designed from the ground up to be able to efficiently run C (by which I menn, to allow C cpompilers to efficiently map th ecode onto the architecture)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.