PICAXE-18M2 IC (Chip with 16 inputs/outputs). A PICAXE chip is a standard Microchip PIC microcontroller that has been pre-programmed with the PICAXE bootstrap firmware code. The bootstrap code enables the PICAXE microcontroller to be re-programmed in position directly via a simple three wire download cable connection. This eliminates the need for an (expensive) conventional PIC programmer, making the whole download & programming system just a low-cost USB cable. The same software and download cable is used for all PICAXE chip sizes and project boards. The various different PICAXE chip sizes (8, 14, 18, 20, 28) give great flexibility on how the system can be used - simply select the chip size required for your project. On PICAXE parts almost all the pins can be user configured to be an output, a digital (on/off) input, an analogue input or a touch sensor.