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MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system from Microchip Technology

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article image MPLAB REAL ICE

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analogue semiconductors, has released MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system for the development of applications employing Microchip's PIC microcontrollers and dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs).

Addressing the need for increased controller memory speed and cable interconnection distances, the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system offers low-cost, next-generation emulation support for Microchip’s high-speed microcontrollers and 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 MPLAB REAL ICE 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 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 next-generation 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.

According to Microchip Technology, it stands alone among semiconductor companies by offering a low-cost, truly integrated development environment for 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers, and 16-bit digital signal controllers, ranging from 6-pin to over 100-pin devices. Additionally, Microchip's newer, faster product families are driving strict requirements for new emulation hardware, requirements addressed by the MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system.

The MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system offers the following advanced features:

  • Full-speed, real-time emulation.
  • Ruggedised probe interface: Protection circuitries are added to the probe drivers to guard the probe against power surges from the target.
  • Legacy and high-speed connectivity: The MPLAB REAL ICE 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 metres.
  • Logic probe for external triggers: 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 analyser or oscilloscope.
  • Trace execution and analysis: The MPLAB REAL ICE emulation system 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.
  • Portable, USB-Powered, and CE and RoHS-Compliant.


The MPLAB REAL ICE in-circuit emulator (part # DV244005) sets a new price point 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. 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. For additional information, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorised worldwide distributor.

Microchip customer support

Microchip is committed to supporting its customers by helping design engineers develop products faster and more efficiently. Customers can access four main service areas.

The Support area provides a fast way to get questions answered; the Sample area offers free evaluation samples of any Microchip device; microchipDIRECT provides 24-hour pricing, ordering, inventory and credit for convenient purchasing of all Microchip devices and development tools; finally, the training area educates customers through webinars, sign-ups for local seminar and workshop courses, and information about the annual MASTERs events held throughout the world.

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