Extra extra! Read all about it! The EDN online community has named chipKIT Wi-FIRE one of their Hot 100 Products of 2015 in their Wireless and Networking category! Although they had posted a glowing review of the chipKIT Wi-FIRE back in February, we were pleasantly surprised to have stayed in their good graces. They said, and we quote “Digilent’s chipKIT WiFire board is an awesome little beastie. Powered by Microchip’s latest 32-bit 200 MHz MCU, the Wi-Fi equipped Arduino-compatible platform has been paired with Imagination Technologies’ Flow Cloud service development tools in an effort to make creating cloud-powered embedded applications practical for the average developer.”
Jay Weeks of Digilent is back with another very useful “Instructable” about external interrupts. Armed with a chipKIT board, a USB cable, and a piece of wire, he guides you through some example code, so that you can see for yourself how interrupts really work! Using very simple explanations, he discusses polling vs. interrupts, and then he delves deeper into the topic to discuss debouncing, interrupt service routines, volatile variables, and more. Check it all out at Instructables.
Say goodbye to the Serial Monitor debugging with Serial.println()! Microchip has released a chipKIT Platform Sketch Importer for MPLAB X IDE in their latest version, v3.10. This importer is a plug-in that allows for source debugging of chipKIT sketches directly within MPLAB X IDE. This plug-in is installable via the MPLAB X plug-in portal under the Tools menu. The only other requirement is a separate install of the latest beta release of UECIDE–an alternative to MPIDE–since the desired sketch must first be created in UECIDE and built in that environment at least once. Subsequent builds and full source-debugging are then supported within MPLAB X IDE.
The chipKIT platform development team is very excited to announce general availability of a chipKIT-core download that can be used within the latest Arduino™ IDE. You can now program all of the chipKIT boards directly from within the Arduino IDE. The new chipKIT-core is currently available for broad testing, and is actively being updated as issues are identified. The chipKIT platform development team sincerely appreciates all feedback from users who try out this new form of chipKIT development tools.
Along with moving the chipKIT platform into the Arduino IDE, this chipKIT-core also moves the chipKIT platform towards full Arduino 1.6.x API compatibility. The most-used libraries included with the chipKIT platform have already been updated to be compatible with the Arduino 1.6.x library API, and chipKIT platform developers are actively working on bringing the remaining libraries up to the latest API level as well. All of these changes mean that taking your existing Arduino sketch and running it on a chipKIT board is getting easier and easier.
chipKIT Uno32 is at the end of its product life cycle, but that only means that there is something better in its place! Welcome the chipKIT uC32, identical to Uno32 but with four times more Flash and twice as much RAM! The uC32 has been around for quite some time, so it’s nothing brand new, but it has certainly been a fan favorite, especially for those projects that require more memory! If you want to learn more, check out Digilent’s goodbye to Uno32, hello uC32 blog post.
At the MASTERs conference recently, Digilent announced OpenScope™, a WiFi connected, 1 MHz, 2 channel, analog oscilloscope with a 1 MHz function generator and 10 channel logic analyzer. The user interface will be browser based, connecting directly to the OpenScope via the Digilent HTTP Wi-Fi server. The OpenScope utilizes the PIC32MZ2048EFG124 MCU and will be powered by USB power, or a battery when isolation is desired. The hardware is capable of being used as a UART, SPI, and I2C protocol analyzer.
OpenScope will be available from Digilent as a pre-programmed, standalone product. It will be fully open source, both hardware and software, and will be chipKIT compatible. Therefore OpenScope can also be used as a PIC32MZ development board. Digilent will provide the original OpenScope source code, along with schematics and hardware files. Documentation will be provided so that the code can be customized using the chipKIT ecosystem. An ICSP interface will also be included for use directly with MPLAB X IDE.
At the Microchip MASTERs conference in Phoenix from August 17th to 22nd, Keith Vogel taught 5 sessions of his “Intro to chipKIT Platform” class. The class covered a range of introductory topics, including a discussion of compatibility issues with the Arduino system.
The goals of the chipKIT platform were listed as follows:
Easy access to professional applications and libraries for new users
Rapid prototype development tools
Migration between easy to use IDEs and professional IDEs
The same ease-of-use as Arduino when using Arduino-style IDEs
Substantial source code compatibility with Arduino
Team members Rick Anderson, Brian Schmalz and Chuck Hellebuyck were on hand to answer questions and help out with the labs. It was a popular class, and over 125 chipKIT T-shirts were given away to attendees. The class presentation in PDF format is available here: Introduction to chipKIT Development Platform