ADVANCED TECHNIQUES FOR DESIGN ENGINEERS
■ BY FRED EADY
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MPLAB’S X FACTOR
I heard it, I heard it, I heard it on the X. Those famous words are the lyrics to
a ZZ Top tune entitled — you guessed it — Heard It On The X. The “X” radio
stations were Mexican super-high-powered 250,000 watt AM operations that
broadcasted religious programs and all kinds of music from just across the
Texas-Mexico border. Wolfman Jack became famous in the 1960s working his
magic on the X stations. I can remember catching the X late at night on the
AM band of my multi-band shortwave receiver.
During the 2010 MASTERS Conference, I saw it on the “X”… MPLAB X, that is. MPLAB X has come a long
way since its inception. In addition to the Microchip line
of C compilers, MPLAB X now supports the CCS C
compiler and microEngineering Labs new PICBASIC PRO
compiler 3.0. If you want to use your MAC to create PIC
firmware with MPLAB X, now you can. MPLAB X is also
MPLAB X VERSUS MPLAB IDE
The MPLAB 8 IDE is a workspace-oriented
development tool. That is, the project’s source code,
hardware tool (programmer/debugger) information, and
target microcontroller (device) information are all
contained within the project workspace. Conversely, the
MPLAB X development tool is project oriented. Everything
associated with the project (hardware tool, compiler,
device, etc.) is contained within the scope of the project.
Since each MPLAB X project is a self-contained entity,
multiple projects using differing programmers/debugging
devices, PIC devices, and compilers can be debugged
simultaneously within the MPLAB X environment.
■ SCREENSHOT 1. This is a
composite capture of the steps
taken to create a new MPLAB X
project. The PIC18F465J13 does
not have an associated hardware
header, so the Select Header
step is ignored.