Microchip has just launched MPLAB Xpress online IDE with some of the most used features of the company’s MPLAB X IDE, as well as a free – in limited quantities – MPLAB Xpress evaluation board based on a PIC16 micro-controller.
Let’s get through the development board specifications first:
- MCU – Microchip PIC16F18855 MCU with 14KB flash, 1KB SRAM, 256 bytes EEPROM
- USB – micro USB port for power and programming
- Expansion Headers
- Unpopulated mikroBUS header supporting one of 180 Click boards
- Unpopulated 2x 14-pin header with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, UART, ADC, etc…
- Misc – Reset button, user button, potentiometer
- Dimensions – N/A
Playing with hardware is always more fun, but if you just want to evaluation the online IDE, you don’t even need the board. Visit MPLAB Xpress Code Examples page, load one of the example, possibly log-in if you want to save changes to the 10GB free online storage that comes with a myMicrochip account, and you’ll be able to run and debug the sample in the simulator. Since the IDE is web based you don’t need to install any software, and it works on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
You may want to go through the tutorial to learn more about the IDE, or visit the forums for support. MPLAB Xpress currently supports three hardware platforms: MPLAB Express board mentioned above, Curiosity board, and PICkit 3 in-circuit debugger/programmer that supports over 1,000 PIC MCUs.
If you’d like to apply for one of the 2,000 free MPLAB Express board, you can do so @ http://www.microchip.com/Xpress-021516a, or visit Microchip booth at Embedded World 2016. On a related note, Olimex will also give away 1,000 PIC32 boards at the event.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.