Difference between AVR and PIC

A microcontroller is a small processing device which is primarily designed to perform specific functions within a large system. For example, a microcontroller is used in an air conditioner to automatically control and adjust the temperature of a room.

The main parts that a microcontroller has are: central processing unit (CPU), memory unit, and I/O interfaces. All these components of the microcontroller are formed on a single chip. A microcontroller can be programmed using various programming languages like C language, assembly language, etc. to perform a specific function. Microcontrollers are widely used in a variety of electronic devices, such as medical instruments, manufacturing machinery, robotics, automobiles, home appliances, toys, etc. to automate their operation.

AVR and PIC are the two types of low-cost microcontrollers that are used in a wide range of applications from simple embedded systems to industrial control systems. In this article, we will discuss the important differences between AVR and PIC. But before discussing the differences, let us first have a look into their basics.

What is an AVR Microcontroller?

AVR is an abbreviation for Alf and Vegard’s RISC processor, also Advanced Virtual RISC. It is named in the honor of its developers, Alf-Egil Bogen and Vegard Wollan. AVR is a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) based microcontroller architecture. It was first produced by Atmel Corporation in the year of 1997.

The AT90S8515 was the first microcontroller developed based on the AVR microcontroller architecture. AVR microcontrollers have simple instruction sets, making them fast and efficient. The major advantages of AVR microcontrollers include low power consumption, low cost, and high performance. We can use assemble language as well as high-level languages like C, C++, etc. to program these microcontrollers for a specific function.

AVR microcontrollers are widely used in several different applications like robotics, home and office appliances, industrial automation systems, automobiles, etc.

What is PIC Microcontroller?

PIC is an acronym for Peripheral Interface Controller. PIC microcontroller is a low-cost and high-performance microcontroller used in a variety of applications like embedded systems, consumer electronics, industrial automation systems, etc. It was developed by Microchip Technology Corporation in the year of 1975.

PIC microcontrollers come various pin configurations, typically ranging from 6-pins to 100-pins. They use an instruction set architecture that is based on RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer). Therefore, PIC microcontrollers use simple instruction sets, making them efficient and faster.

In order to program the PIC microcontrollers, we can use assembly language as well as high-level language like C. PIC microcontrollers also have a vast community to provide support and resources to developers.

Therefore, PIC microcontrollers are versatile, efficient, low-cost, and high performance microcontrollers, and are used in several automation applications.

After getting an overview of AVR and PIC microcontrollers, let us now discuss their important differences.

Difference between AVR and PIC Microcontrollers

The following table highlights all the major differences between AVR and PIC microcontrollers −


AVR Microcontroller

PIC Microcontrollers

Full Form

AVR stands for "Alf and Vegard's RISC processor" or "Advanced Virtual RISC".

PIC stands for Peripheral Interface Controller.

Bus width

AVR microcontroller has a bus width of 8 bits, but it also available in 32 bits bus width.

PIC microcontroller has a bus width of 8 bits. But it also available in 16 bits and 32 bits bus widths.

Clock speed

AVR microcontrollers have a lower clock speed. They have a clock speed of 1 clock per instruction cycle.

PIC microcontrollers have a higher clock speed. They have a clock speed of 4 clocks per instruction cycle.

Memory architecture

AVR microcontrollers have the modified Harvard architecture.

PIC microcontrollers have the Von Neumann architecture.


AVR microcontroller was developed by Atmel Corporation.

PIC microcontroller was developed by Microchip Technology Corporation.

Release date

AVR microcontroller was developed in 1997.

PIC microcontroller was developed in 1975.

Processing speed

AVR microcontrollers have higher processing speed.

PIC microcontrollers have comparatively low processing speed than AVR.

Power consumption

AVR microcontrollers consume slightly more power than PIC.

PIC microcontrollers consume less power, making them better suited for low-power applications.


AVR microcontrollers use flash memory, SRAM, and EEROM.

PIC microcontrollers use SRAM and flash memory.


AVR microcontrollers support less peripherals.

PIC supports more peripherals.


AVR microcontrollers are expensive than PIC microcontrollers.

PIC microcontrollers are less expensive than AVR.

Communication protocols

AVR microcontrollers support UART, USART, I2C, and SPI communication protocols.

PIC microcontrollers support PIC, UART, USART, SPI, CAN, LIN, and Ethernet communication protocols.

Popular microcontrollers

Some popular microcontrollers of AVR family are ATmega 8/16/32, Arduino community, etc.

Some popular microcontrollers of PIC family are PIC16f88X, PIC18fXX8, PIC32MXX, etc.


Both AVR (Advanced Virtual RISC) and PIC (Peripheral Interface Controller) are the two popular types of RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture-based microcontrollers. From the above comparison, one significant difference between AVR microcontrollers and PIC microcontrollers is that the AVR microcontrollers have the modified Harvard memory architecture, while the PIC microcontrollers have the Von Neumann memory architecture.

Updated on: 25-Apr-2023

1K+ Views

Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started