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Friday, May 06, 2011

Microchip moves to Open-Source development tool with full cross-platform support

MPLAB X IDE adds multiple simultaneous debugging sessions, advanced editor and code completion for Linux, Mac and Windows 

By Nick Flaherty

Microchip, one of the leading suppliers of 8, 16 and 32bit microcontrollers, has launched its next-generation, open-source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) based on Netbeans with cross-platform support for Linux, Mac OS and Windows operating systems.
The new MPLAB X IDE introduces the ability to manage multiple projects and tools with simultaneous debugging, an advanced editor, visual call graphs and code completion. MPLAB X is also unique in the industry due to its support for a complete portfolio of 8, 16 and 32bit microcontrollers, including all 800+ PIC microcontrollers, dsPIC digital signal controllers and memory devices. This gives the designer a large amount of flexibility to get the right controller mapped to the embedded application.
MPLAB X provides a single, unified graphical interface for Microchip and third-party tools, including the MPLAB ICD 3, PICkit 3 and MPLAB REAL ICE debugger/programmers.
It builds on the core benefits of the Oracle Sponsored open-source NetBeans platform which has an active user community that can contribute a wide range of enhancements and third-party plug-ins. Microchip customers can also take advantage of free NetBeans software components and plug-ins that are available immediately, as well as the capability to customise MPLAB X IDE to match individual development needs.
Additional features include:
  • Import utility for quick and easy migration of projects from the previous MPLAB IDE platform
  • Code completion and context menus via advanced editor
  • Configurable watch window
  • Supports multiple compiler versions, simultaneously
  • Team collaboration tools for bug tracking and source-code control
To help ensure that there are no disruptions to active projects, Microchip will also continue to support the current MPLAB 8 environment.
The MPLAB X IDE can be explored via a free download at:, and users can provide feedback via the MPLAB X Users’ Forum at
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