chipKIT® Development Platform

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ChipKit PGM vs PICKit3

Created Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:58:19 +0000 by

Sun, 23 Sep 2012 13:58:19 +0000

Is there any difference between the two ?

I am using PICKit3, but MPLAB does not show the local variables correctly, saying it is "out of scope".

Does the ChipKit PGM fixes this ?



Sun, 23 Sep 2012 15:29:58 +0000

No, the chipKIT PGM is a PICKit3 (same schematics). But instead of being selected under MPLAB as PICKIT3, you select it as "licensed debugger". Their features are identical.

The reason you are having trouble is not because of your choice of debugger. There must be something else wrong.

Can you describe more about what you're trying to do? What process are you using to bring your sketch into MPLAB?



Mon, 24 Sep 2012 14:30:12 +0000

Actually, there are a few differences between the two.

chipKIT PGM supports only 3.3V devices (such as PIC32) that do not require high voltage programming. That includes most, but not all, Microchip MCUs. Also, it does not support the programmer-to-go feature of PICkit 3.



Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:01:23 +0000

Ahh! Cool. I knew that the programmer to go feature was not there, but I didn't realize there was a voltage level restriction, as Gene told me that the schematics were virtually identical. At least I think that's what he said. I may have miss-herd.

Thanks for the clarification-


Tue, 25 Sep 2012 16:24:07 +0000

thanks for your information.

When time allows, I will make another set of tests.

When I got my PICKit3, I was able to debug the app, set break points, etc. I followed the doc "Debugging chipKIT with MPLAB IDE.pdf" and used MPLAB 8.6.

At the time, I has been a while, MPLAB got confused withe C++ code, and classes data members would report "out of scope" when you would try to check their values.

I will visit this soon with the last release and see what I get.



Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:09:42 +0000

Note that until MPLAB X v1.40, you couldn't really debug C++ code correctly. Now you can. That may make all the difference to you.


Tue, 25 Sep 2012 23:06:28 +0000

DO i need MPLAB X or just plain MPLAB ?



Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:44:39 +0000

For C++ debugging, you need MPLAB X v1.40 or above. I do not believe that MPLAB 8 will ever have C++ debugging, but I could be wrong.



Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:26:36 +0000

Concerning debugging C++ under MPLAB X 1.4.x - is that still done as per the document "Debugging chipKIT with MPLAB IDE.pdf".


Thu, 27 Sep 2012 00:30:02 +0000

Yes. I believe that document still has the correct procedure for debugging. C++ vs. C makes no difference really, as far as the process.



Tue, 16 Oct 2012 23:02:27 +0000


This response is a bit late, but, I think that you misunderstood something that I said when we were talking about the chipKIT PGM. The circuit on the PGM is virtually identical to the licensed debugger circuit on the Cerebot MX4cK and MX7cK. There are actually a number of differences between the chipKIT PGM and a PICkit3.

As Guy pointed out, this mostly has to do with the programming voltage. The PICkit3 can generate the higher voltages that some PIC MCUs require for programming. The PGM only supports 3.3V programming.

The PICkit3 can source current to power the board under test (at least for some low power requirement boards). The chipKIT PGM can't source current to power the board under test.

The chipKIT PGM doesn't support programmer on the go.

It is selected as the licensed debugger, rather than as the PICkit3.

Functionally, from the perspective of programmer/debugger operation within MPLAB, they are equivalent.



Wed, 17 Oct 2012 00:43:36 +0000

Gene, - yes, my mistake. Sorry, I didn't mean to misrepresent the ChipKIT PGM. I've been using mine and like them very much.

Thanks for the clarification. All very good things to remember.



Sat, 23 Nov 2013 10:22:54 +0000

Man, both are actually the same and I do not think you need to worry about any differences here anymore. The only thing with the chipkit is that you will have to select the licensed bugger option unlike in the PICKIT 3.

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