chipKIT® Development Platform

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Difference between MPIDE and MPLAB IDE

Created Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:36:27 +0000 by dharanikumarsrvn


Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:36:27 +0000

Hi, I am new to ChipKIT and PIC. I have ChipKIT WF32 with PIC32. I need to program it to convert sensor's analog output to Digital value and pass that data to a Smartphone through Inbuilt Wifi module in WF32. I heard that PIC can programmed using both MPIDE and MPLAB IDE. What is the difference between both approach? and are they both are just two different IDEs or two different programming environment where code developed in one cant be used with the other? The DNETck and DWIFIck libraries can be used to program the wifi module in WF32. Do those libraries compatible MPIDE environment alone or it can be used in MPLAB too? Please recommend a IDE among the above two for my need? Thank you.


Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:55:57 +0000

MPLAB-X can be likened to a John Deer tractor. It's big and slow, but it can get anywhere. Contrariwise, MPIDE is like a Ford Cortina. Much smaller, faster and lighter than the John Deer, but a bit old and ropey. Not MPIDE's fault, that last one, but the code it's based on is old and ropey.

Fundamentally they both use the same programming language - C / C++. The big difference though is that MPIDE contains an abstraction layer (called the API) which makes programming considerably easier as most of the drudge work has been done for you.

This means that libraries written for MPIDE cannot work directly in MPLAB-X because they rely on this API layer. Yes, it is possible to re-implement the API layer in MPLAB-X, but it would take a lot of work - as much work as re-writing the library to work without the API.

That's not to say that MPLAB-X is useless when programming a chipKIT board - it does have its place, especially when it comes to debugging. It is possible to write your application in MPIDE and then load the compiled .elf file into MPLAB-X to use its advanced debugging facilities.

So, in short, if you don't want to do 6 months work just to get the system blinking an LED (OK, a bit of an exaggeration there) then just stick to MPIDE (or better still my replacement for it UECIDE ;) - sorry, couldn't resist a quick plug there...!)


Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:57:29 +0000

I can second majenko's suggestion to try his UECIDE. I recently moved to ChipKit boards and first tried MPIDE. I don't think I would have stayed with MPIDE. I would have abandoned it and moved to MPLAB, but I ran across UECIDE early on and love it. I know it would have taken me a long time to get running with MPLAB.

(or better still my replacement for it UECIDE ;) - sorry, couldn't resist a quick plug there...!)