New FAT File System in chipKIT-core

microSD cards are supported on several chipKIT boards
microSD cards are supported on several chipKIT boards
Did you know that a robust FAT file system is now available in chipKIT-core? Keith Vogel of Digilent recently ported the file system library by ChaN at elm-chan.org. You can use this library to create and access files on microSD cards, as shown in the photo above.

But wait… what is a FAT file system, anyway?

FAT stands for File Allocation Table. It’s a method of organizing data on disk drives. Designed way back in 1977, FAT was the standard file system used on disk drives for at least two decades. While modern computers now use more sophisticated systems, FAT is still the standard for USB sticks, Flash drives and solid-state memory cards.
DSDVOL example in Arduino IDE
DSDVOL example in Arduino IDE


Several chipKIT boards (such as the FubarinoSD, WF32, Wi-FIRE, and WiFi Shield) include a microSD card slot where a solid-state memory card can be inserted. The new library allows your sketch to create and access files stored on the memory card. Files can be used for serving up web pages, storing large amounts of data collected from sensors, or anything else you can think of.

chipKIT-core combines the FAT file system with improvements to the DSPI and SoftSPI libraries. (DSPI uses the hardware SPI ports, while SoftSPI uses any combination of unused I/O pins to create a virtual SPI port.) When a microSD card is inserted, your sketch can easily mount it as a disk volume to access files. An example sketch is included with chipKIT-core, and appears as DSDVOL under the File:Examples menu item. Here is a snippet of code from DSDVOL:
Mounting a volume using the new FAT file system
Mounting a volume using the new FAT file system
Up to 5 volumes can be mounted and used at the same time. While most chipKIT boards have only one microSD card slot, virtual disk volumes in RAM or MCU Flash will be supported soon.
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chipKIT Wi-FIRE: An EDN Hot 100 Product of 2015

EDN's Hot 100 Products for 2015

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.”

Check it all out on the EDN Hot 100 Wireless and Networking Products of 2015!

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chipKIT Wi-FIRE – 1 of 5 Newest Arduinos Named

chipKIT Wi-FIRE Development Board
chipKIT Wi-FIRE Development Board

Check out this list of the five newest, high-performance Arduino® boards, published by IHS Electronics360. We’re very proud to say that the list includes the chipKIT Wi-FIRE, boasting a 200MHz Microchip PIC32MZ MCU. You don’t have to take our word for it anymore that the chipKIT Wi-FIRE is one of the fastest Arduino-compatible boards out there right now!

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chipKIT Wi-FIRE – EDN Review

chipKIT Wi-FIRE Development Board
chipKIT Wi-FIRE Development Board

Lee Goldberg, of EDN, takes the chipKIT Wi-FIRE–Digilent’s latest chipKIT board, powered by Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32MZ microcontroller–combines it with Imagination’s FlowCloud service, and proves for himself that building an Internet of Things (IoT) application out of the box can actually be quite simple! Read the EDN review for more details 🙂







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QEMU Simulator for PIC32 and chipKIT

QEMU - Quick EMUlator
QEMU – Quick EMUlator

QEMU (short for “Quick EMUlator”) is a generic and open-source machine emulator/virtualizer, and now a port of QEMU for PIC32 MCUs is available, which means some chipKIT boards are now supported! The supported families include PIC32MX7 and PIC32MZ, and several boards including chipKIT Max32 and chipKIT Wi-FIRE are among the list of supported boards.

Serge has posted some of this information on the forum, and he welcomes volunteers to enhance and extend the simulator with more peripherals and board types. Check out build instructions and examples for yourself on the wiki at GitHub.

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