With the escalation of development, 8-bit MCUS are also evolving


To shorten development time with 8-bit PICMCUs and CIPS (core independent peripherals), Microchip has released version 3.0 of the MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), a free graphical programming environment. The company also added three new development boards.

The Curiosity Development Board is an entry-level tool that includes an integrated programmer and debugger, as well as easy external connection options. It supports 8-bit PICMCU for 8-bit, 14-bit or 20-pin PDIPs. The motherboard layout and external connections provide access to all MCU CIPS. The external connector includes a mikroBUS head that supports more than 100 manufacturer mikroElektronika's Click attached board, as well as printed circuit board occupancy space, enabling users to easily add the company's RN4020 Bluetooth LE module for communication.

The Explorer 8 development Kit is a proof-of-concept quick tool for broad integration and support for a variety of 8-bit PICMCUs for applications such as HMI, power conversion, Internet, iot and battery charging. It supports the standard PICkit3, MPLABICD3 and MPLABREALICE programming/debugger.

The PICDEM Experiment II Development Board is a development and experimentation tool with analog and mixed-signal focus. Combined with CIPS, it can significantly reduce overall design time, says the company.

These four tools fit in Microchip's free MPLAB? It is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and can be extended through its ecosystem to include development partners such as manufacturers mikroElektronika and Digilent.

MPLAB code configurator minimizes startup time by reducing data table study and code implementation, while hardware CIPS eliminates the functionality of verification in complex control systems. With version 3.0, engineers can configure two separate peripherals and high-level system functions, combining several CIPS with just a few mouse clicks. It also adds future expansion plans for the company's library, such as TCP/IP, custom LIN drivers, and serial boot loaders, with mTouch capacitive sensing, USB, and RF protocols. There are also plans to release a software development kit to add their own "common" 8-bit and 16-bit code snippets and/or libraries to MCC3.0 for easy integration and configuration.

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