If you program the PIC, there is one programming language that builds a simple idea into a powerful system and still gives you a great deal of control over your program: Forth.
uses a PIC16F84 micro and MAX3100 UART to impelement 256 address RS-485 bus transceiver
The 16F628 will run 16F84A code with only very minor modifications
The reason to do this is that 16C55X one time programmable devices (OTP) are very cheap
4 steps to help you get started with PIC programming.