Microchip announces an expansion of the development platform for its growing portfolio of innovative 8-bit PIC® microcontrollers (MCUs)
with Core-Independent Peripherals (CIPs). Designers can combine these building blocks to perform application functions autonomously, and they can be interconnected with an increasing amount of integrated intelligent analogue peripherals. Because these functions are deterministically and reliably performed in hardware instead of software, CIPs enable system performance that is far beyond traditional MCUs. They also enable customers to react quickly to changing market conditions with minimal code rewrites and very short validation cycles.
In order to further reduce development time with these next-generation MCUs, Microchip is releasing Version 3.0 of the MPLAB® Code Configurator (MCC), the most recent version of Microchip’s free graphical programming environment, and adding three new development boards. The Curiosity Development Board is an entry-level, cost-effective tool that includes an integrated programmer and debugger in addition to options for easy external connectivity. The Explorer 8 Development Kit is a rapid proof-of-concept tool with extensive integration and support for the widest variety of 8-bit PIC MCUs. The PICDEM™ Lab II Development Board is a comprehensive development and experimentation tool, with an analogue and mixed-signal focus. This development platform, when combined with the Core-Independent Peripherals, can significantly reduce total design time.
All four of these tools are designed to fit within Microchip’s longstanding and free MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment, and can be easily augmented via Microchip’s rich ecosystem, including development partners such as MikroElektronika and Digilent. This platform enables designers to rapidly and intuitively bridge the evolved 8-bit PIC MCU peripheral architecture with their application software, making it even easier to build functions and applications. Curiosity is a cost-effective, fully integrated 8-bit development platform targeted at first-time users, makers and anyone seeking a feature-rich rapid prototyping board. It supports 8-bit PIC MCUs in 8-, 14- or 20-pin PDIP packages, and the board’s layout and external connections offer full access to each MCU’s Core-Independent Peripherals. External connectors include a mikroBUS™ header that supports more than 100 of MikroElektronika’s Click add-on boards, as well as a PCB footprint that enables users to easily add Microchip’s RN4020 Bluetooth® LE module for communication.