Microchip migrates to Linux and Mac OS with NetBeans IDE

Microchip has migrated its MPLAB integrated development environment (IDE) onto the open-source Java-based NetBeans IDE, allowing it to run on Linux and Mac OS as well as Windows, writes Steve Bush.

“For the first time we have cross-platform support across Windows, Linux and Mac OS,” Microchip applications engineer Darren Wenn told Electronics Weekly. “NetBeans IDE is very strong in user plug-ins. We have wanted to offer plug-ins with previous versions of MPLAB but the architecture is very difficult for that. Customers can now, for example, write debugging tools, and the NetBeans community has many plug-ins we can take advantage of like graphing tools and vi and html editors.”

There will be support for almost all existing Microchip hardware for all three operating systems from the start.

“Customer investment in hardware tools is all preserved, with a couple of exceptions that will be cleared up,” said Wenn. “Certainly ICD 3, PICkit 3, REAL ICE and all of the primary development tools are supported.”

The new tool is called MPLAB X and it will cover all of the firm’s 8, 16 and 32bit microcontrollers, including over 800 PICs, dsPICs and memory devices.  

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