Finding Bugs & Programming Becomes Faster And Low-cost


Embedded design engineers can now improve their development experience with a new in-circuit programming and debugging development tool from Microchip. The new MPLAB PICkitTM 4 In-Circuit Debugger is designed to replace the popular PICkit 3 programmer by claiming five times faster programming, a wider voltage range (1.2-5V), improved USB connectivity and more debugging interface options. The benefits of faster programming time are less waiting and better productivity during development. This is especially important when designing with 32-bit microcontrollers with larger memory capacities, Microchip says.

The low-cost PICkit 4 tool supports Microchip’s PIC microcontrollers (MCUs) and dsPIC Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs), in addition to debugging and programming for the CEC1702 family of hardware cryptography-enabled devices.

This solution is ideal for those designing in the 8-bit space, but it is also perfectly suited for 16- and 32-bit development due, in part, to its 300 MHz, high-performance ATSAME70Q21B microcontroller on board.


The PICkit 4 development tool enables debugging and programming using the graphical user interface of MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

The tool connects to the design engineer’s computer using a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface and can be connected to the target via an 8-pin single inline header that supports advanced interfaces such as 4-wire JTAG and serial wire debug with streaming data gateway.

The tool is backward compatible for demo boards, headers and target systems using 2-wire JTAG and In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) compatibility.

In addition, the tool is also compatible with Microchip’s CEC1702 hardware cryptography-enabled 32-bit MCUs that feature easy-to-use encryption, authentication and private and public key capabilities.

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“A better and faster development tool doesn’t have to be expensive,” said Rodger Richey, Microchip’s director of Development Systems. “The MPLAB PICkit 4 programmer has all the features a design engineer needs for working with PIC, dsPIC and CEC1702 devices, as well as the capability to support future products for many years to come. Our mission is to provide the highest-performing and easiest-to-use development tools in the industry at an affordable price.”

For more information about the MPLAB PICkit 4 development tool, visit

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