Free and Easy: Beta Support for AVR® Microcontrollers Now Available in MPLAB® X Integrated Development Environment

December 11, 2018 Microchip Technology, Inc.

You have so many choices to make when selecting the right microcontroller (MCU) and development resources for your embedded applications. Sometimes the options can seem overwhelming, especially when you are under pressure to bring your latest product to market ahead of the competition and meet challenging cost constraints. For many years, designers have trusted Microchip’s PIC® MCUs and the MPLAB® ecosystem of award-winning development tools to help them quickly and easily move their designs from concept to production. With the addition of AVR® MCUs to Microchip’s portfolio of products, you now have even more flexibility for creating innovative applications.

If you are new to using AVR MCUs, the latest release of Microchip’s free MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE) now makes it easy for you to evaluate and incorporate these devices into your next design. MPLAB X IDE version 5.05 now offers beta support for the majority of AVR MCUs, with support for additional AVR MCUs to be added in future versions. You will find a complete list of currently supported devices in the “docs” folder within MPLAB X IDE.

Whether you are a novice or a long-time user of AVR MCUs, this new capability can significantly improve your development experience. MPLAB X IDE provides a unified development experience that is both cross-platform and scalable with compatibility on Windows®, macOS® and Linux® operating systems, so you can now use your choice of hardware system to develop with AVR MCUs. For easy configuration of software components and device settings such as clocks, peripherals and pin layouts, you can use MPLAB Code Configurator (MCC), a free graphical programming environment that generates seamless, easy-to-understand C code that can be inserted into your project.

Most development boards that are available to evaluate and program AVR MCUs are also now supported by the MPLAB ecosystem and MCC. This includes the new Curiosity ATmega4809 Nano Development Board (DM320115) and existing AVR Xplained development boards, which are cost-effective, fully integrated MCU development platforms targeted at first-time users, makers and anyone seeking a feature-rich rapid prototyping board. The Xplained platform includes an integrated programmer/debugger and requires no additional hardware to get started.

You also have more compiler choices and debugger/programmer options when using MPLAB X IDE 5.05 with AVR MCUs. To take advantage of additional advanced software optimization techniques to reduce your code size, you can now use either the MPLAB XC8 C Compiler or the AVR MCU GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). You can also accelerate your debugging and programming by using the MPLAB PICkit™ 4 In-Circuit Debugger (PG164140) or the newly released and low-cost MPLAB Snap In-Circuit Debugger (PG164100).

Because Microchip knows you enjoy having the freedom to choose your development tools, you can also opt to continue using Atmel Studio 7 IDE and Atmel START for your AVR MCU development. Microchip will continue to offer new device support, add enhancements and implement bug fixes as needed to these tools.

So, if you are looking for complete design support for every stage of your AVR MCU-based project’s development, check out the MPLAB X IDE Offers Beta Support for AVR MCUs page on Microchip’s website to find out more about the company’s reliable, flexible and easy-to-use ecosystem of hardware, software and other resources, including the latest version of MPLAB X IDE. It’s just that easy. 

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