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chipKIT Uno32™ Arduino-compatible prototyping platform

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 in Arduino, dev boards, PIC by the machinegeek

Digilent, Inc. announces the pending release of the chipKIT™ Uno32™. The Uno32 is an Arduino-compatible platform combining Arduino compatibility with the performance of the Microchip PIC32 microcontroller. The Uno32 is the same form factor as the Arduino Uno board and is compatible with Arduino shields. It features a USB serial port interface for connection to the Arduino IDE and can be powered via USB or an external power supply.

The Uno32 board takes advantage of the powerful PIC32MX320F128 microcontroller. This microcontroller features a 32-bit MIPS processor core running at 80Mhz, 128K of flash program memory and 16K of SRAM data memory. In addition to operation within the Arduino development environment, the Uno32 is fully compatible with the advanced Microchip MPLAB development environment and the PICKit3 in-system programmer/debugger.

The board is said to be an open source EAGLE project with EAGLE v5.11 files available for download.

The Uno32 hardware has a May 21, 2011 commercial release date and lists for $26.95. More info is available from Digilent.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 10:16 pm and is filed under Arduino, dev boards, PIC. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

19 Responses to “chipKIT Uno32™ Arduino-compatible prototyping platform”

  1. msr says:

    It seems a great board and very well designed!
    I have a Basys2 from Digilent, those guys really know how to make great PCBs :)

    • rsdio says:

      You’re right, somun. Change MX320 to MX340, though, and the sibling does have 32K SRAM (plus 4 DMA channels). The chips versions are pin-compatible, so maybe the part number is wrong.

  2. tremodian says:

    The description from the Digilent link appears to have been updated:

    “The Uno32 board takes advantage of the powerful PIC32MX320F128 microcontroller. This microcontroller features a 32-bit MIPS processor core running at 80Mhz, 128K of flash program memory and 16K of SRAM data memory.”

  3. Mark says:

    The software is now ready to download

    https://github.com/chipKIT32/chipKIT32-MAX/downloads

    All 3 OS versions are ready to go (Mac, Windows, Linux)

    As far as how it works, the core files and library files of course have been re-written to use pic32 hardware instead of avr hardware

    The ide has been modified to have a platforms.txt in addition to the boards.txt. This allows multiple compilers to be used. The design idea is that any gcc compiler can now be made to work just by adding a text file (platforms.txt) Everything about the compiler is driven by that file.

    The biggest difference in what we did compared to what maple did, is now you can select back and forth between AVR and PIC32 without changing programs. Just go up the boards menu and select a different board. Mega2560, Arduino-UNO, chipKit-MAX32 or chipKit-UNO. and click download. Thats all there is to it.

    We are calling it MPIDE for Multi-Platform IDE

    For anyone that has looked inside of the java ide code, the section that drives the compiler has been COMPLETELY re-written. This was a MAJOR undertaking.

    I am at Maker fair this weekend if anyone wants to stop by and see it and learn more how it works

    Mark
    lead programmer in the pic32 chipkit/Arduino project

    • Richard says:

      Nice job, Mark!

      But I can’t find the PIC32 bootloader or an option in the Tools menu to burn the PIC32 bootloader. The boards.txt config file has ATmegaBOOT_168_ng.hex for the PIC32 bootloader, which doesn’t sound right. Is the PIC32 bootloader something that has to be loaded outside of the Arduino IDE? I’m guessing that it is because it would require a PICkit or ICD and the software interfaces for these are proprietary.

  4. msr says:

    I consider the board very interesting and maybe I’ll buy one. But, for me, there’s a thumb down which is the lack of some hardware peripherals: no SD/miniSD card slot, no USB OTG socket…
    I understand that with more peripherals would be more difficult to get a more competitive (lower) price than Arduino platforms, but personally I wouldn’t mind to pay more for more peripherals and a better experience out-of-the-box once a PIC32MX has much capabilities that an atmega.

    • Richard says:

      It’s almost not even practical to compare the Uno32 to the ATmega versions of the Arduino because it’s 8 bit vs 32 bit. The Uno32 is comparable to the Netduino, which uses a 32 bit ARM processor. What would make more sense to me would be to add the SD card and Ethernet I/O to the Max32 version of the chipKit, which would then be more powerful than the Netduino Plus. Currently the chipKit libraries only support the W5100 Ethernet controller via SPI (using a shield). But the PIC32 is capable of high performance Ethernet when it’s internal MAC is directly connected to an appropriate Ethernet PHY. So I think that Diligent still has some headroom in terms of new products that they could offer with the PIC32 core.

  5. miki says:

    I’ve downloaded win version of chipkit mpide, but the mpide does not start – An error occured while starting the application.. Launch4j.. :(
    Win xp sp3. Miki

  6. rsdio says:

    I see Arduino as a “standard” to avoid. Even within the limitations of that 8-bit world, they’ve already regretted certain choices that went into the original “shield” specifications, but they cannot change them because that would render tons and tons of shields incompatible with any improved design.

    The whole idea of squeezing a 32-bit processor into a “shield” standard that already has problems for its 8-bit origins seems to be to be a huge fail. Then again, making things convenient always has tradeoffs, and so perhaps these sacrifices will be useful to some folks.

    In other words, I support the suggestions above that there are better ways to access these 32-bit processors than within the Arduino shield universe.

    • makomk says:

      Yeah. I’m seriously considering making a low end 32-bit embedded ARM dev board for various reasons, and it may be software compatible with Arduino but I’m certainly *not* going to use the same board layout for exactly that reason.

  7. Mark says:

    Richard

    I have started documenting the bootloader at this web site. The bootloader cannot be programmed with the normal Arduino programming tools. I apologize for not having this information available but it was not high priority for getting the release out. It is ALL open source so it will be available. I am going to document how to set up the bootloader to work on ANY pic32 board. I will be doing it specifically for most of the Microchip evaluation boards.

    And yes, you have to use an ICD or PicKit to program the bootlaoder. Again, I am going to document the process.

    http://www.avr-developers.com/chipkit/pic32bootloader.html

    Mark

  8. miki says:

    And do mind the 64pin versions of the pic32mx (e.g. PIC32MX795F512H) as there might be a lot of chipkituinos boards coming with this easier to solder chip. The mpide shall support these versions as well..

  9. Ally says:

    I just wanted to say we (Farnell) have got the UNO32 and MAX32 in stock, which should help if you are in Europe http://bit.ly/jGzvTd

  10. trandi says:

    Hi guys,

    How about multi-threading ? The original Arduino language has obviously no instructions for this as the Atmega is too limited.

    How about your new board ?

    thanks,
    dan

  11. You can also run StickOS BASIC on the chipKIT Uno32 and Max32. StickOS BASIC is an entirely MCU-resident interactive programming and prototyping environment, which includes an easy-to-use editor, transparent line-by-line compiler, interactive debugger, performance profiler, and flash filesystem, all running entirely within the MCU and controlled thru an interactive command-line user interface, using nothing but a terminal emulator. StickOS can run either in “slave” mode, tethered to and controlled by a host computer as a glorified intelligent I/O port, or it can run in “master” mode, programmed in BASIC, interactively debugged, and even configured to autorun its BASIC program autonomously. You can log into the MCU and literally manipulate and examine all of its pins and peripherals right from an interactive command-line. See: http://www.cpustick.com

  12. rob says:

    I agree that they need to add some more accessories to the MEGA board. An SD card is a start. Otherwise this doen’t really help me. I dont want to deal with shields for every little component. These things are cheap enough today that we don’t need to excludethings to save 1 euro.

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