Microchip anounces new cross-platform MPLAB XC compilers

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 in compilers by DP

Microchip has announced that it will release new cross-platform MPLAB XC C compilers by the end of March. They come in 3 versions depending on PIC family: XC8 is for 8bit, XC16 for 16bit, and XC32 for 32bit microcontrollers.

Microchip is releasing MPLAB XC C compilers in the upcoming weeks.  There will be three, one for each of the major Microchip logic architectures: MPLAB XC8, MPLAB XC16 and MPLAB XC32.  By the end of March, we should have all three versions available.  In the same open-platform spirit as MPLAB X IDE, MPLAB XC C Compilers will run on Windows, MAC and Linux.  XC compilers will come with a new license manager to make installation and license management simple across platforms.  Users will be able to install the compiler on any platform of choice.

No word on what ‘new license manager’ means for free users.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm and is filed under compilers. 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.

15 Responses to “Microchip anounces new cross-platform MPLAB XC compilers”

  1. Stephen Hill says:

    No word on what ‘new license manager’ means for free users.

    I was just about the ask that very same question…

  2. Gary says:

    I think this is a great decision! Having 3 different “official” compilers for 8-bit microcontrollers wasn’t a good option in my opinion.

  3. msr says:

    Maybe just a marketing move?
    First “MPLAB C30/wtv”, then “Compiler for PIC24/wtv”, now “XC16/wtv Compiler”.
    Just a guess.

  4. Drone says:

    Open wallet, insert vacuum hose, suck…

  5. Joe Desbonnet says:

    Am I correct in assuming there are (at this time) no production quality open source C compilers available for 8 and 16bit PIC architectures?

  6. Tom Schwarz says:

    @joe: you are correct. Added fact: There is also no production quality IDE for 8 and 16bit PICs available, be it closed source or open source.

    • P0e says:

      @Tom Schwartz

      No production quality IDE for 8 or 16 bit PICs? Really? Odd considering the data.

      • Tom Schwarz says:

        There’s MPLAB8 which is mildly speaking not up to today’s standards. And there’s MPLABX which has been in beta for the better part of two years now. It’s making progress but Microchip itself says loudly: “don’t use for production”. Check their forums if you don’t believe me. It’s broken to the level where you cannot trust what you see in the debugger.

      • Dave says:

        There is a high quality production environment for 8-bit pics. It consists of Emacs, or Eclipse and some other editor, Make, GIT, and a host of GNU tools. Care to elaborate on why MPLAB 8 is not sufficient for ICD? Also, if you are working on complex code, spring for a proper ICE.

  7. Diego Souza says:

    There is a high level free language for PICs MCU, called JAL!

  8. Dave says:

    Come to think of it, “Production Quality IDE” makes no sense at all. The IDE doesn’t produce the product, it facilitates the programmer. There’s “professional quality” but that means different things to different people. To me, it means you have all the tools you want at your fingertips for immediate use, and the tools don’t constrain you.

    If something is “Production Quality”, it will produce consistent products that meet specs. That may apply to that stuff that takes your input and produces a product. That could include PCB houses, compilers, programmers, etc.

  9. Tom Schwarz says:


    1. “all the tools you want at your fingertips”?
    Given that this thread is 3 months old, you need to work harder if you want us to believe that you’re not some marketing noob affiliated with Microchip.

    2. Production quality:
    When a manufacturer says “don’t use this IDE for production” then this is the very definition of “not production quality”.

    3. MPLAB8:
    The problems are manifold and well-documented in the forum. Go read there, if you’re really interested. Or go and read the release notes, make sure to visit the “known issues section”. Oh, and when was the last time when they fixed a single usability problem? Or the watch window issues? Or the Settings window where you adjust the path to the compiler? Or project reloading?


    On the upside, now that MPLABX has come some way forward with 1.10, I’m looking forward to the next version. There are still A LOT of quirks in there and you need to restart it up to 10 times a day but at least there’s *some* hope that they’ll fix it. Since the compilers are now optimizing too, it has (just now) become a real alternative.

  10. IPenguin says:

    The MPLAB XC8 and XC32 C compilers are available for download
    for Windows, Linux and Mac OS since last week or so.

    Time to check them out.

  11. nikolai says:


  12. Softwork says:

    Does this mean C18 will no longer be developed or supported?

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