RS Components unveils debugger/programmer for Microchip PIC microcontrollers

Latest low-cost PICkit programmer delivers significantly faster debugging with added functionality and more interfaces

RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers, has introduced the MPLAB PICkit 4 in-circuit debugger/programmer from Microchip, which enables fast and easy debugging and programming of PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) and dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs) using the MPLAB X integrated development environment (IDE).

Offering the features and performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable debugger/programmers, the new low-cost PICkit 4 builds on its predecessor – the PICkit™ 3 – to deliver five times faster programming, increased functionality, a wider target-device voltage range and more debugging interface options.

Meeting the needs of development engineers involved in programming and debugging 8-, 16- or 32-bit devices, the faster programming time will make the tool especially suitable for 32-bit microcontrollers with larger memory capacities. In addition to supporting Microchip’s PIC MCUs and DSCs, the tool also supports debugging and programming for the CEC1702 family of hardware cryptography-enabled devices.

A key feature of the development tool is the wider voltage range, which provides support for a variety of PIC MCU devices with voltages from 5.5V down to 1.20V. The tool connects to a computer via a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface and can be connected to the chip to be programmed via an eight-pin single in-line header. This connector uses two device I/O pins and the reset line to implement in-circuit debugging and In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP). The PICkit 4 also supports advanced interfaces such as four-wire JTAG and serial wire debug with streaming data gateway; and is also backward compatible for demo boards, headers and target systems using two-wire JTAG and ICSP compatibility.

The PICkit 4 also has a unique ‘programmer-to-go’ function with the addition of a micro-SD card slot to hold project code and the ability to be powered by the target board enabling in-the-field programming. Other features include: automatic programming, as fast as allowed by the device; supply of up to 50mA of power to the target; and minimal current consumption at less than 100µA.

New device support and features are available by installing the latest version of the MPLAB X IDE, which is designed to work on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

The MPLAB PICkit 4 in-circuit debugger/programmer is now shipping from RS in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

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