chipKIT® Development Platform

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ChipKit Max32 revision identification?

Created Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:49:07 +0000 by neslekkim


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:49:07 +0000

How can one see if my Max32 is an new or old stock board?

I could not find out which of the various chipkit boards are new or old, there are no info about which board is made for what purpose, or if some boards replaces others, so I just bought the Max32, at leat i think it have an decent mcu.

But, I think this board have been sitting on an shelve for ages, on the box, it was written: "Inspected August, 16, 2012", so, How can I see what revision this board are?, hardware revision that is?

And, are there any plans of, or does it exists any overview over what is the purpose of the various chipkit boards?, the Uno32 and Max32 i think is kinda obvious since they match the two Arduino's, Uno and Mega, but the rest?


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:08:22 +0000

On the rear of the MAX32, just under the bar code, in very small letters, should be the revision code. Mine says "REV D". I only bought it a few weeks back, so I would hope it would be a pretty recent revision ;)

The MAX32 has the top of the range PIC32MX chip - the PIC32MX795F512L. It's the one with the most memory, the most flash, the greatest number of internal peripherals, etc. You can't (yet) get a better PIC32.

You're right that the MAX32 and the UNO32 equate to the Arduino Mega and Uno. However, there a considerably more chipKIT and chipKIT compatible boards supported by us than there are official Arduino boards.

Of the official chipKIT boards, you can group them into 3 loose groups:

  1. Uno-like boards

These are the UNO32, and the uC32 board. The latter is basically an UNO32 with a slightly better MCU on it (more memory and flash).

  1. Mega-like boards

These don't always fit the same footprint as the Mega, like the MAX32 does, but they are often the same board wrapped in a slightly different design. For example, the WF32 board is basically a MAX32 board with reduced pinout and an embedded WiFi connection and SD card.

  1. Application specific boards

These are the strange ones. Things like the chipKIT Pi, the DP32, etc. Boards that were created to fill a specific role. They don't really fit into any other category as each one is pretty unique.

You could also group them by the chip family.

  1. MX1/MX2

These are the smaller chips - often in a DIP footprint - on boards like the DP32 and chipKIT Pi. They have less memory and flash than the others, and run at a slower speed, but they are more modern chips, so they have extra things like remappable pins, and advanced clock facilities.

  1. MX3/MX4

Mid-range chips, used in the UNO32 and similar boards. A good low-cost chip if you don't need all the fancy bells and whistles of the better chips.

  1. MX6/MX7

The top of the range chips. They often have the most memory and flash, and the peripherals offered on the chip are better and more densely packed than the other chips. They cost more though.

And then of course you have all the other boards made by third parties. Sometimes these were boards made for a different purpose that have been brought under the chipKIT umbrella, such as the Microchip evaluation boards, or boards made by other people for a specific job, or just because they thought they would be a good board for people to use. A good example is the Fubarino range of boards. You could equate those to the Arduino Pro range of boards, where they are aimed at really being embedded deep in a project. Much smaller and sleeker than the big development boards, but still provide the same kind of facilities that they provide, and use the same chips that they use - you just can't plug shields into them.

Hope this helps muddy the waters of your understanding a little ;)


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:35:10 +0000

Thanks, when you described it now, i finally found the revision id, It's an D, so i guess that is the latest, so I'm ok with that. Was a bit pussled that in this fast moving world, one still had products from 2012 in storage :)

good description of the various boards!

Btw, i have an pickit3, and i see that there exists an Chipkit programmer, what is the purpose of this programmer? As far as I understand, there are an avr-isp/avr-dude compatible bootloader so one can use those cheap programmers to upload sketches, and I guess i can overwrite the programmer with my pickit3 right? Does it mean that the Chipkit programmer can sort of replace the pickit for those who don't have that, or are there things that you cannot do with that programmer? (Looks like it have the same pinout as the pickit)


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:40:21 +0000

The chipKIT programmer does the same basic job as the PICkit3 (and the PICkit2) - it directly programs the chip bypassing the bootloader. The main use with these boards is to upgrade or replace the bootloader. In general you don't need to worry about it as the bootloader already installed is fine.

The chipKIT programmer can be thought of as the baby brother of the PICkit3. I don't think it provides as many fancy facilities as the pk3, such as Programmer-To-Go (which I have never used). If you have a PK3 then there is no reason at all to buy a chipKIT programmer.


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:46:04 +0000

Good, maybe it can be used to program pic's in general also then?

A friend of me bought the Uno32 and the programmer, I guess we don't need to replace the bootloader, but one newer know :)


Wed, 05 Mar 2014 12:48:16 +0000

Yep. I use mine to burn bootloaders onto new boards I build from scratch, or for working with non-PIC32 PICs that I don't (yet) have a working bootloader for (though I am working on that).