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MPLAB is a proprietary freeware integrated development environment for the development of embedded applications on PIC and dsPIC microcontrollers, and is developed by Microchip Technology.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

MPLAB X is the latest edition of MPLAB, and is developed on the NetBeans platform.[9][10] MPLAB and MPLAB X support project management, code editing, debugging and programming of Microchip 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.[11][12][13]

MPLAB is designed to work with MPLAB-certified devices such as the MPLAB ICD 3 and MPLAB REAL ICE, for programming and debugging PIC microcontrollers using a personal computer. PICKit programmers are also supported by MPLAB.

MPLAB 8.X[edit]

MPLAB8X Splash.png
Developer(s) Microchip Technology
Stable release
8.92[14] / July 23, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-07-23)
Development status Discontinued
Written in Visual C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows
License Proprietary EULA

MPLAB 8.X is the last version of the legacy MPLAB IDE technology, custom built by Microchip Technology in Microsoft Visual C++. MPLAB supports project management, editing, debugging and programming of Microchip 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers. MPLAB only works on Microsoft Windows. MPLAB is still available from Microchip's archives, but is not recommended for new projects.[14]

MPLAB supports the following compilers:[14]

  • MPLAB MPASM Assembler
  • MPLAB ASM30 Assembler
  • MPLAB C Compiler for PIC18
  • MPLAB C Compiler for PIC24 and dsPIC DSCs
  • MPLAB C Compiler for PIC32

MPLAB X[edit]

MPLABX Splash.png
Developer(s) Microchip Technology
Stable release
3.50[15] / December 14, 2016; 3 months ago (2016-12-14)
Development status Active
Written in Java (programming language)
Operating system Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux[15]
License Proprietary EULA
Website MPLAB X Homepage

MPLAB X is the latest version of the MPLAB IDE built by Microchip Technology, and is based on the open-source NetBeans platform. MPLAB X supports editing, debugging and programming of Microchip 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit PIC microcontrollers.

MPLAB X is the first version of the IDE to include cross-platform support for Mac OS X and Linux operating systems, in addition to Microsoft Windows.

MPLAB X supports the following compilers:

  • MPLAB XC8 — C compiler for 8-bit PIC devices[16]
  • MPLAB XC16 — C compiler for 16-bit PIC devices[16]
  • MPLAB XC32 — C/C++ compiler for 32-bit PIC devices[16]
  • HI-TECH C — C compiler for 8-bit PIC devices[17]
  • SDCC — open-source C compiler[18]


  1. ^ Embedded C Programming and the Microchip PIC, Cengage Learning, 2004
  2. ^ Designing Embedded Systems with PIC Microcontrollers, Newnes, 07-Nov-2009
  3. ^ Programming 16-Bit PIC Microcontrollers in C, Elsevier, 2011
  4. ^ PIC Microcontrollers: Know It All, Newnes, 30-Jul-2007
  5. ^ Mechatronics with Experiments, John Wiley & Sons, 27-Jan-2015
  6. ^ PIC Microcontrollers: An Introduction to Microelectronics, Elsevier, 2011
  7. ^ Microcontroller Programming: The Microchip PIC, CRC Press, 19-Dec-2006
  8. ^ Implementing 802.11 with Microcontrollers, Newnes, 18-Oct-2005
  9. ^ PIC Microcontroller Projects in C: Basic to Advanced, Newnes, 08-Apr-2014
  10. ^ Microcontrollers: High-Performance Systems and Programming, CRC Press, 28-Oct-2013
  11. ^ Programming 8-bit PIC Microcontrollers in C, Newnes, 22-Aug-2008
  12. ^ Designing Embedded Systems with 32-Bit PIC, Newnes, 22-Aug-2013
  13. ^ Programming 32-bit Microcontrollers in C: Exploring the PIC32, Newnes, 08-Apr-2011
  14. ^ a b c MPLAB IDE Archives, Microchip
  15. ^ a b MPLAB X Home Page, Microchip
  16. ^ a b c MPLAB® XC Compilers, Microchip
  17. ^ HI-TECH C compiler for PIC10/12/16 MCUs (PRO), Microchip
  18. ^ Setting up the free compiler SDCC at MPLABX, Google Sites

External links[edit]