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  • MyForth & SiLabs Devices

    Bob Nash and Charley Shattuck have been using the 8051 based products from SiLabs for some time now. These products provide a very cost effective assortment of devices for embedded systems. The prices range for one time programmable components that cost $1 to full development kits that cost $99. You can get an evaluation board for about $35, that works very well for small projects. The chips include many options, such as A/D and D/A converters built in. There is hardly a concepts for embedded usage that can not be covered by one of the SiLabs devices.

    Bob Nash has done considerable development work using the SiLabs products and has written several articles, one of which appeared in QST Magazine - the main support journal for Amateur Radio or HAMS. Bob has a large assortment of little tasks handled by these devices, both for fun and commercial usage. He has been having lots of fun lately with their one time programable (OTP) chips, due to very low cost and ease of programming using the MyForth language.

    To see more about Bob and his projects, go here.

    MyForth

    Charley Shattuck, with lots of help from Bob Nash, wrote MyForth. This version is intended for embedding in small 8051 based projects. They currently feel the product is not commercial worthy as it has too many personal enhancements, and is more an exploration of concepts than a real product. Don't get them wrong about how it works, as they have developed some real working products using this code.

    The main features of this forth, is the use of macros and macro like instructions to generate 8051 assembler instruction. Using SEE, a forth word or instruciton, it will dissasemble the current code into assembler instructions so you can see if your doing what you wanted to do. Like other embedded forths, you use gforth running on a PC to talk to the project cpu as if you were running a full development platform on your project board. This tethering of the forth to the product is what makes development extrememly fast and efficient.

    MyForth for SiLabs 8051s

    Although not a commerical product, it is ready for use and you can get it by using git to clone our repo. Try ">git clone http://www.kiblerelectronics.com/myf/myforth.git". Give it a try and see what you can do - it works on both windows and linux, after you load gforth on your system. You will find a manual with plenty of explanations in the DOC section. The latest version of the manual is here as myforth.pdf.

    For more information about the myforth git repo, read the Computer Corner II article #19, and intro SiLabs in artcile #15. They are here: CCII 19 and here: CCII 15 .

    To find out more about the SiLabs line of products, see: SiLabs Home Page

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