Microchip Technology

Microchip Technology

Design Support

Microchip offers a range of PIC microcontroller and dsPIC DSC development systems, including the free MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that supports all of Microchip's PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC DSCs devices, from 6 to more than 100 pins and 8 to 32 bits. The MPLAB IDE serves as the development platform for the wide array of development-tool components offered by Microchip and third-party vendors. Included in the free MPLAB IDE are a programmer's editor, assemblers and simulators for all Microchip microcontrollers, a graphical project manager, version control support; and drivers for emulators, programmers, and low-cost hardware debuggers. Debugging using the free simulators, low-cost debuggers, and the in-circuit emulators shares a common MPLAB IDE graphical interface.

Full-featured 60-day demos of the MPLAB and HI-TECH C compilers can be downloaded free from Microchip's Web site. Hardware tool offerings include the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system and several device programmers, featuring In-circuit Serial Programming technology.

More than 100 third parties have extended their lines of tools to cover the PIC microcontroller and dsPIC DSC devices, and to work as plug-ins with the MPLAB IDE.

Microchip offers development tools for applications ranging from graphics, touch sensing, energy harvesting, low-power design, iPod and iPhone accessory designs, speech processing, motor control, power supplies and wired and wireless connectivity, plus general-purpose kits and starter boards for evaluation and learning.

Development boards supported under the MPLAB IDE include Microchip's Explorer 16, a low-cost, modular development board for evaluating the features and performance of Microchip's 16-bit and 32-bit families, and the PIC18 Explorer board for the PIC18 family, both of which work with Microchip's microcontroller plug-in modules and PICtail daughter boards for a wide range of system functions.

Special development boards for USB, Ethernet, CAN, motor-control and LCD products are available. Development boards with the low- cost MPLAB ICD 3 in-circuit debugger (available separately) provide in-circuit programming and extensive debug facilities, to allow evaluation and quick prototypes of application circuitry.

Additional development tools include the PICDEM Demonstration Board series, the PICkit 3 Starter Kit series, and the MPLAB Starter Kit series.

Microchip offers a Production Programming Service for its PIC microcontrollers. In conjunction with its microchipDIRECT online purchasing site, all of Microchip's customers, regardless of order size, can have their application code programmed into a PIC microcontroller prior to delivery.