Inc. has made it faster and easier for development engineers to use its 8-,
16-, and 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) by rolling out a development tool that
supports in-circuit programming and debugging across its entire product
Known as MPLAB
ICD 3, the new tool is said to make flash MCU programming 15 times faster
than previous generations of the product. Microchip engineers say that in
rolling out the new tool, they targeted the design process.
"It's important to be able to insert a tool like this, not
only in the debugging pipeline, but in the design pipeline," says Derek
Carlson, vice president of Microchip Development Systems. "Today, people are expecting
tools to be able to assist them with a lot of their basic program development,
whereas they might have previously developed from scratch."
The new tool connects to a host PC via a USB 2.0 interface
and offers full compatibility to the company's MPLAB Integrated Development
Environment (IDE). It also allows developers to debug in C-source code or
in assembly programming
Microchip says that one of its goals for the product was to
make the design/debug process simpler and faster, no matter the previous
experience of the developer. "They're asking us to do more and more for them,"
Carlson says. "We're seeing engineers who have varying levels of experience and
knowledge in embedded design, and our goal is to make the process more seamless
for all of them."
Watch a video of MPLAB ICD 3.