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Emulation system supports Microchip's PIC MCUs, DSCs

Posted: 03 Nov 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microchip? MPLAB? emulation system? PICmicrocontroller? dsPIC?

Microchip Technology Inc. has begun offering its MPLAB Real ICE emulation system for the development of applications employing its PICmicrocontrollers and dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs).

The MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system supports standard and advanced debugging facilities, such as complex break points, application code trace and data logging, code execution stopwatch, and real-time variable monitoring.

The emulation system is fully integrated into the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for writing code, building projects, testing, verification and programming. Leveraging the power of the MPLAB IDE, the emulation system integrates hardware and software application design tools to aid development and enable rapid application deployment within a consistent, unified framework. The MPLAB IDE is shipped free with the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system.

Increasingly, embedded design engineers are looking to simplify code development while reducing design-software costs. Microchip developed the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system concurrently with the design of its microcontroller and DSC devices to ensure tightly coupled emulation integration. Proprietary on-chip resources furnish an emulation window for full-speed debugging, while monitoring variables in real time. High-speed data interfaces rapidly upload large trace records, and accommodate quick monitoring and instant adjustment of application parameters.

Full-speed, real-time emulation
Among the features of MPLAB REAL ICE are full-speed, real-time emulation. Protection circuitries are added to the probe drivers to guard the probe against power surges from the target. The emulation system comes with a standard interface, providing backward compatibility for applications developed with Microchip's MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger. Optionally, a high-speed driver/receiver plug-in pair offers high-speed, noise-tolerant communications to and from the host PC and target, enabling cable lengths up to three meters.

A logic probe is included and can be connected to the 14-pin header on the unit. The outputs can also trigger an external logic analyzer or oscilloscope. The emulation system also offers multiple ways to trace execution and log information about running applications: real-time watch, data capture, streaming parallel trace using a device I/O port or streaming serial trace via SPI/UART.

The MPLAB REAL ICE in-circuit emulator (part # DV244005) goes for $499.98 for complete and advanced in-circuit emulation. The MPLAB REAL ICE Performance Pak (part # AC244002) extends the power and utility of the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system with high-speed driver plug-in boards for $159.98. Both the MPLAB REAL ICE in-circuit emulator and the Performance Pak are available now from Microchip distributors and microchipDIRECT. The Optional Processor Extension Paks, to be available at a later date, provide further convenience with a processor extension board that plugs directly into the target microprocessor socket and releases reserved debugging pins to the applied application.

- Marty Gold

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