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Microchip Releases New In-Circuit Emulator


The MPLAB ICE 4 In-Circuit Emulator offers full emulation, programming and debugging for PIC, AVR and SAM MCUs


Microchip Technology has released the new MPLAB® ICE 4 next-generation full in-circuit emulator, debugging and programming development tool for the company's PIC® and AVR® microcontrollers (MCUs), dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs), and SAM MCUs and microprocessors (MPUs). The ICE 4 provides embedded engineers an easy-to-use yet powerful emulation tool for quick testing and development of microcontroller program code.

Click for Larger Image - Microchip Releases New In-Circuit Emulator The ICE 4 is Microchip's fastest and most feature-rich emulation and programming tool for its MCUs and MPUs, debugging and programming with the powerful, easy-to-use graphical user interface of MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The ICE 4 also provides a flexible development experience including advanced debugging capabilities to write power-efficient code coupled with all the features needed to reduce debugging time.

“Engineers can expand their development capabilities with this all-in-one, powerhouse system that provides new possibilities and applications with enhanced hardware and wireless connectivity options,” said Rodger Richey, senior director of Microchip's development systems business unit. “Together with advanced power monitoring capabilities, embedded design engineers can simultaneously optimize both hardware and software for a comprehensive, power-efficient design.”

The ICE 4 connects using SuperSpeed USB 3.0 or High-Speed USB 2.0 with an option to go wireless using Ethernet or Wi-Fi® connectivity for flexibility and ease of use. The system provides Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity for seamless wireless programming and debugging. Ethernet connectivity provides remote debugging for applications which are monitored over long distance. Further, Wi-Fi connectivity is excellent for providing isolation from environmental conditions such as high-voltage motor control applications or floating systems with no ground loop.

MPLAB ICE 4's powerful hardware integrates with MPLAB X CI/CD setup over Ethernet creating an effective combination for hardware in the loop. Designers can use the CI/CD wizard to set up Jenkins and Docker on the latest version of MPLAB X IDE v6.00.

It is equipped with power debugging capabilities to monitor how power consumption correlates to code using MPLAB Data Visualizer. Additionally, embedded engineers can extract more from the code by using two independent current-sensing channels with varying resolutions for measuring and optimizing the power consumption of a design.

Engineers can reduce development time using MPLAB ICE 4 In-Circuit Emulator's advanced features supporting many widely used instrumentation and instruction trace capabilities. ICE's several debug and programming interfaces and options for target connections using adapter boards further help to reduce development time.

The ICE 4 debugs and programs all Microchip MCUs, DSCs and MPUs, simplifying the design process when developers migrate from one Microchip MCU or MPU to another. With the latest hardware, across-the-board device support, multiple features, reliability, and seamless integration with the latest version of MPLAB X IDE v6.00, it provides a complete development system. In addition to Microchip's proprietary free software, MPLAB X IDE for embedded applications, the company provides a full range of free, optimizing compilers, professional-grade compiler licenses, functional safety licenses and code coverage licenses for developers.

Connectivity Features of the MPLAB ICE 4 In-Circuit Emulator

  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0 host PC interface with USB speed of 5 Gbps
  • High-speed USB 2.0 host PC interface
  • Ethernet connectivity with speeds up to 100 Mbps
    • Wired/DHCP/APIAP IP addressing
    • Static IP addressing
  • Wi-Fi Access Point Connectivity (Wi-Fi-AP)
    • Connects with SSID of the unit
  • Connection to Wi-Fi using Wireless Station Mode (Wi-Fi-STA)
    • Connects to your home/office network
    • Uses network SSID, security type with username and password

Power Supply and Protection Features of the MPLAB ICE 4

  • Powered by 9V DC wall mount power supply
  • Can safely power up to 1A of power to a target application
  • Ruggedized with protection circuitries to the probe drivers to guard from voltage transients from the target
  • VDD and Vpp voltage monitors protect against overvoltage conditions and all lines have overcurrent protection
  • RED tested and CE and RoHS compliant

The MPLAB ICE 4 Features a wide range of Trace, Debugging and Monitoring Tools

  • Advanced Trace Capabilities
    • Data capture/native trace
    • SPI trace (currently supported on 16-bit PIC devices)
    • Port trace (currently supported on 16-bit PIC devices)
    • PIC32 iFlowtrace™ 1.0/iFlowtrace 2.0
    • ARM ITM/SWO
  • Power Debugging Capabilities (Currently Only Supported on AVR and SAM MCUs)
    • Can correlate to code by capturing power data and corresponding PC values
      • Can identify power profiles
      • Can determine functions which take the most power
    • Can determine functions which take the most power
  • Power Monitoring (Supported on All Devices)
    • Can monitor power of the full system or component
    • Contains two channels with different resolutions
  • CI/CD Support
    • MPLAB ICE 4 in-circuit emulator hardware tool can be used for continuous integration/continuous delivery over Ethernet using hardware in the loop
    • Can use CI/CD wizard to set up for Jenkins and Docker on the latest version of MPLAB X IDE v6.00
  • Data Gateway Interfaces
    • USART
    • Power
    • SPI
    • I²C
  • Comprehensive Debug Functionality
    • Supports multiple breakpoints, stopwatch and source code file debugging
    • Selectable pull-up/pull-down option to the target interface


More information on the MPLAB ICE 4 In-Circuit Emulator can be found on the Microchip Web site at Microchip ICE 4 product page

Note: The Microchip name and the Microchip logo are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Incorporated in the U.S.A and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective companies.


The company's Web site address is www.microchip.com
[Reprinted with kind permission from Microchip Corporation - Release Date, 4th January, 2022]