Microchip releases free Embedded Firmware Development Framework | Automation.com

Microchip releases free Embedded Firmware Development Framework

Microchip releases free Embedded Firmware Development Framework

November 18, 2013 - Microchip Technology announced MPLAB Harmony 32-bit microcontroller firmware development framework.  This framework integrates the licensing, resale and support of both Microchip and third-party middleware, drivers, libraries and real-time operating systems.  Currently, Harmony includes third-party offerings from Express Logic, FreeRTOS, InterNiche, WITTENSTEIN High Integrity Systems and wolfSSL, with many more on the way.  The result is that developers can greatly simplify their PIC32 MCU code development process by reducing common integration bugs, thus accelerating time to market.

With the growing complexity of embedded systems, industry studies have shown that software development accounts for 60% of the average design cycle.  At the same time, designers are utilizing a variety of software with untested compatibility and multiple sources of purchasing and support.  This causes increased verification and debug time after the design is completed, which can cost 10-30 times more than defects found during the design phase.

Microchip’s new MPLAB Harmony framework reduces development time and costs by providing a single integrated, abstracted and flexible source for Microchip-tested, debugged and interoperable code.  Additionally, Harmony provides a modular architecture that enables the efficient integration of multiple drivers, middleware and libraries, while offering an RTOS-independent environment.  Not only does this pre-verification and integration speed development, it also increases reuse.  On the hardware side, the Harmony framework makes it even easier to port code and migrate among all of Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers.  And, by utilizing this single source for in-house and third-party code (both free and premium) that is supported by Microchip, designers can greatly increase their reaction times to their ever-changing end market requirements.

“MPLAB Harmony provides a new software development approach that is unmatched in the embedded industry,” said Rod Drake, director of Microchip’s MCU32 Division.  “No one else provides a single, comprehensive firmware development framework where designers can download and find support for such a broad range of pre-tested, interoperable software.”

Pricing & Availability

MPLAB Harmony is available today, and the basic framework is free.  The first release provides initial support for the new PIC32MZ family, as well as the PIC32MX families.  Once downloaded, there is a modular menu of free and premium software options that are also available today.  The expanding list of initial offerings includes RTOSs—FreeRTOS from Real Time Engineers Ltd. and OPENRTOS from Wittenstein High Integrity Systems—a TCP/IP stack from InterNiche Technologies, and a CyaSSL Embedded SSL Library from wolfSSL, among many others.