Low-cost programmer/debugger suits entry-level designs

9th October 2018
Posted By : Mick Elliott
Low-cost programmer/debugger suits entry-level designs

The MPLAB Snap in-circuit debugger/programmer from Microchip which allows fast, easy debugging and programming of most Microchip PIC, AVR and SAM flash microcontroller units (MCUs) — including 32-bit devices — and dsPIC digital signal controllers (DSCs) is available at RS Components.

For projects that do not require high-voltage programming or advanced debugging, MPLAB Snap is a highly affordable package offering all the entry-level features electronic designers need to debug their prototypes quickly.

MPLAB Snap uses the graphical user interface of the MPLAB X IDE (integrated development environment), version 5.05 or later.

 It connects to a computer using a 480 Mbps USB 2.0 interface and to the target MCU via an 8-pin single in-line (SIL) connector.

Two device I/O pins and the reset line are used to implement in-circuit debugging and Microchip ICSP (in-circuit serial programming). An onboard 32-bit 300 MHz SAM E70 MCU, based on an Arm Cortex-M7 core, matches the clocking speed of the target device, so programming is as fast as the device will allow.

The debugger system uses the target MCU’s built-in self-test circuitry rather than a dedicated debugger chip.

Features of the device are accessible interactively and can be set and modified via the MPLAB X GUI. Applications can be debugged in real time at full target MCU speed.

MPLAB Snap supports advanced interface standards including 4-wire JTAG and SWD (serial wire debug), while remaining backward compatible with demo boards, headers and target systems using 2-wire JTAG and ICSP.

It is powered through its Micro-B USB interface, with no external power required. The target device voltage range is 1.20V to 5.5V, sufficient to support a wide variety of devices.

Firmware is continually upgraded to support new devices. Details can be found in the latest release notes for the MPLAB X IDE, and support and features added via a free install of the latest version of MPLAB X.

The Microchip MPLAB Snap is shipping now from RS in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

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