Chipino is an electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, students, technicians, engineers and anyone else interested in creating interactive gadgets.
Chipino Module:The Chipino module used in the official Chipino Starter Package uses the PIC16F886 with a 16 Mhz crystal and 5v operation. The module can be powered from the ICSP programmer header or an external power source. The module has an on-off switch for the external power source. The module has a reset switch and connection headers that match the Arduino footprint so many shields can be plugged in.
Chipino Programming:The Chipino code can be developed with any software that supports the PIC16F886 and programmed by any PIC programmer including the popular PICkit 2 and PICkit 3. You can also use it with any IDE supported by the compiler you choose to use. There are many free compilers for the Chipino module.
Chipino vs ArduinoChipino is not designed to replace Arduino, it's just another option. Arduino is a great platform based on the Atmel microcontrollers. But many people prefer the Microchip PIC microcontrollers. There is a seemingly endless supply of software examples and application notes available for the Microchip PICs but a common hardware platform was missing. With the success of the Arduino hardware, an opportunity existed to bridge the two worlds and connect the Arduino with the PIC and that is what Chipino is all about. Chipino is actually designed to use the same footprint as Arduino so most of the Ardunio shields can also be used with Chipino. The Chipino is just another alternative for this great common hardware development format Arduino created.