chipKIT® Development Platform

Inspired by Arduino™

chipKIT Pro Mini idea

Created Sat, 11 Jun 2011 21:46:18 +0000 by pburgess


Sat, 11 Jun 2011 21:46:18 +0000

Something I would love to see would be a super-tiny minimalist chipKIT for integration into small projects...sort of a beefy 32-bit equivalent of the Arduino Pro Mini or PJRC's Teensy board. Reduce the support components to the bare minimum...e.g. move the FTDI interface off-board, maybe no voltage regulation or just pads a la Teensy, so it's just the decoupling caps and crystal and any essentials. Breadboard spacing for pins along two edges, but unpopulated by default. Size is everything.

Of course the UBW32 has the breadboard thing covered, but that's a big "kitchen sink" board with every last pin and peripheral feature covered. I'm picturing something more mbed-sized with just some solid core features. And of course still working with MPIDE. Just add FTDI cable.

Keeping such a board tiny would require some discipline in selecting only a subset of I/O pins to provide. I'd have to spend some time looking over the pinouts for the 64-pin parts, but the ideal situation would be at least one of each peripheral type (UART, SPI, I2C) in a non-overlapping manner so all can be available, along with some number of PWM channels (let's say 2, for a pair of servos), analog inputs (let's say 3, for an analog 3-axis accelerometer), and a contiguous set of bits on one PORT (let's say 8). If more can be shoehorned in, that's great, but not at the expense of size...I'm thinking tiny embedded applications...wearables and eye tracking and UAVs and stuff where the Arduino falls short in the processing department. Price it right (if the Uno32 is $27 with all the connectors and a costly FTDI chip on there, would under $20 be attainable?) and I'd be falling all over that.


Sun, 12 Jun 2011 02:13:49 +0000

Something like a PIC32 version of the PIC24/dsPIC33 Microstick without the onboard programmer...

Darth Maker

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 05:27:57 +0000

I realize that I'm suggesting direct competition, but the Maple Mini (google: "leaflabs") is already on the market, is 32bit and is about the right size.

The Maple format is Arduino compatible (modified IDE, similar shield compatibility to chipKIT boards), but they have a different philosophy for how they do it. They sacrifice direct software compatibility for more direct control over the chip, where the chipKIT design would seem to be the other way around.

I2C is still in the early stages, but the medium-level part of it is fully working. I honestly don't know what stage SPI is at, since I don't use it myself (ever, seriously). UART works very well now, and with the same format as Arduino. USB Serial works fine now, but has some planned improvements.

The Mini is a 40 pin board. 12PWM pins, 9 16bit ADC channels, 2 I2C, 2SPI, 3UART. The Cortex processor has on-board USB for programming and and a serial COM port, so it has a mini USB connector.

There is much more documentation for the Maples than the chipKITs, but there are some mistakes here and there, and it isn't organized very well.

I am not a LeafLabs employee, nor am I affiliated with them. I have a Maple and a Maple Mini (and an UNO32). The chipKIT claim to be first Arduino compatible 32bit board is deceitful at best, and completely false at worst. However, I am open to both boards, especially given the rather different (almost opposite in some cases) design philosophies, and different chips, and the fact that both are open source (100% for the Maples). They both may serve their intentionally different purposes.

The Mini might still be larger than what you're asking for, but it's definitely worth a look.


Tue, 14 Jun 2011 13:36:42 +0000 may use 695F512H or 795, it has usb, so no need for ftdi. I put the whole stuff on a very small breakout board (plus 3v3 stab, usb B socket, 13 capacitors, 8M crystal, 5 resistors, 2leds) with an mx695F512H. All pins available. It runs Maximite, StickOS, now I am trying to run arduino (see my other post). Those H chips are 64pin fully compatible with the UNO mx3 chip except 2 pins - rf0, rf6. The second diff is the Usart1 is on rd2 and rd3. P.


Tue, 21 Jun 2011 02:57:12 +0000

Saw mention of the Mikroelektronika MINI-32 in a couple other threads here, so went looking...and hot damn, that's pretty much exactly what I had in mind! So...uh...never mind, I guess. :D Pity their stateside distributor doesn't have them yet.

So in the meantime, I'll be watching the MPIDE-with-HID-bootloader discussion with great interest.


Tue, 21 Jun 2011 03:18:53 +0000

I have been working with Mikroelektronika, they have been very supportive, I will be supporting their entire product line in MPIDE



Tue, 21 Jun 2011 05:24:35 +0000

Looking forward to it!

It's amazing...just a year ago, the prospects for cross-platform Microchip development stank, and stank HARD. I'd just about given up. Then suddenly...MPLAB X, MPIDE, this proliferation of new's like a kid in a candy store!


Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:14:52 +0000

Looking forward to it! It's amazing...just a year ago, the prospects for cross-platform Microchip development stank, and stank HARD. I'd just about given up. Then suddenly...MPLAB X, MPIDE, this proliferation of new's like a kid in a candy store!

Yes, indeed! I've been lurking here, watching things move forward. MPIDE isn't quite mature enough for me to jump in and buy an Uno32 or Max32 yet though. It's amazing what progress can be seen in under a year! So, I'll be here just lurking mostly and watching development of MPIDE. :D



Tue, 13 Sep 2011 12:24:52 +0000

Keep an eye out for the soon-to-be-released by SeeedStudio "CUI32Stem" board - we've been working on making basically exactly what this original thread proposed (Pro Mini version with a '795 on it), with the added benefits of tying directly into Seeed's GROVE system :

So all the "Twigs" seen there will simply plug right onto the CUI32Stem board, no soldering needed (a bit like the "Teagueduino" - - but much cheaper and faster!)

Cheers, Dan

Markus Gritsch

Thu, 03 May 2012 07:05:57 +0000

The CUI32Stem is now available from SeeedStudio:


Thu, 03 May 2012 15:16:25 +0000

We are also working on a MPIDE based board with a PIC32MX250 on it that is identical in size to the Teensy++ 2.0. I think you'll like it. I don't know when it will be ready for sale, but we're targeting this summer. First prototypes are already in hand . . .



Thu, 10 May 2012 01:55:53 +0000

something like the maple mini would be awesome but that would just the ubw32 then...


Thu, 10 May 2012 13:20:55 +0000

... which already can work with MPIDE just fine. (The UBW32 that is.) All you have to do is use the chipKIT USB bootloader.



Mon, 16 Jul 2012 19:21:18 +0000

PIC32MX250 support would be awesome! Then I can turn my new Microstick II into a ChipKit :)


Mon, 16 Jul 2012 19:40:04 +0000

Are there any other types of Chipkit Boards that you guys would like to see? I only want to use uC that are already supported. I was thinking of making something like an Uno32 pro. Just like sparkfun uno pro but based around the Uno32. If I do decide to make the board I will make sure to document it all and post up the schematics along with the PCB layout and such.

If you guys come up with any ideas on some cool board to develop let me know! :D


Thu, 19 Jul 2012 01:05:44 +0000

Id like to see more love for the 28pin dip 32MX250F128B's :)


Thu, 19 Jul 2012 20:36:44 +0000

Your wish will very likely be granted. :-) I know several parties are working on boards with this family.



Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:56:11 +0000

Any news of new boards?

Competitors have been quite busy, with Arduino Due, Teensy 3.0, LaunchPad Stellaris LM4F, to name a few.

What answer Diligent/chipKIT is working on?


Tue, 15 Jan 2013 23:50:30 +0000

Well, there was a failed Kickstarter campaign that was for an MX DIP based board. The FubarinoMini (which is in DIP form factor but uses an MX250 SMT part) is designed, supported by MPIDE, and works great. Now we just need to get some built for sale. The FubarinoSD (which is in a really wide DIP form factor) is already for sale at SeeedStudio's webstore.

As far as other boards, at this point there are only a handful of people that I know of that are designing any chipKIT based boards (See above). I don't know if Digilent has plans for more chipKIT based boards, as the ones they have now are doing pretty well. It would be great if you had some time and would be willing to help out! The more chipKIT boards the better as far as I'm concerned.



Sun, 03 Feb 2013 04:04:59 +0000

I would like to use the PIC32MX250 (DIP28) in a project. Does MPIDE have a bootloader for this one?