Microchip Debuts Application Maestro Tool for Firmware Customization

4/10/2003 - Microchip Technology Inc, a leader in providing microcontroller and analog semiconductors, introduced the Application Maestro, a software tool which allows users to customize firmware modules written specifically for Microchip’s PIC16 and PIC18 microcontrollers meeting the specific needs of their applications within seconds and a few clicks of a computer mouse. The Application Maestro shortens design cycles and time-to-market by enhancing software reusability and allowing the designer to focus more on a design application and spend less time on the configuration details of the PICmicro microcontroller peripheral set.

Available for free from Microchip’s Web site, the Application Maestro software manages a library of ready-to-configure modules and allows the user to customize their design parameters before generating the necessary code files for inclusion in their project, saving designers time searching for source code that might be modified for a particular design. Rather than serve as a plug-in or add-on to the MPLAB line of development tools, the software tool also differs from librarian systems, such as Microchip’s MPLIB, in that it does more than archive and manage the files used for a single software project.

For example, starting from the Application Maestro graphic interface, one or more of the available pre-written firmware modules (i.e., CAN, SPI, USART, I2C, RTC, ADC) are configured with the required design parameters (i.e., baud rate, receiving buffer size, etc.). With a simple click on the “maestro wand” button, the appropriate code is generated, which can then be incorporated into the user’s project using the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE) or another compatible development environment.

Initially, the tool will cover general purpose applications and provide modules including UART for the PIC16 and PIC18 microcontroller families, analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for the PIC18 microcontroller family, a CAN bootloader for the PIC18FXX8 microcontroller, a CAN driver for the PIC18CXX8 and PIC18FXX8 microcontrollers, an RTC for the PIC16 microcontroller family, and modules supporting the SPI and I2C protocols in the PIC18 and PIC16 microcontroller families. Future modules will include an ADC module, pulse width modulation (PWM), capture, compare and PWM module (CCP), external LCD, external EEPROM, PICmicro microcontroller with TCP/IP stack, DeviceNet, Local Interconnect Network (LIN), dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) Tone Generator and decoding.

The Application Maestro software is available from Microchip’s Web site:http://www.microchip.com/applicationmaestro. For more information, contact Microchip’s Literature Line at 480.792.7668 or contact any authorized Microchip distributor around the world.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. manufactures the popular PICmicro field-programmable RISC microcontrollers, which serve 8- and 16-bit embedded control applications, and a broad spectrum of high performance linear and mixed-signal, power management and thermal management devices. The Company also offers complementary microperipheral products including interface devices; microID RFID devices; serial EEPROMs; and the patented KEELOQ security devices. This synergistic product portfolio targets thousands of applications and a growing demand for high-performance designs in the automotive, communications, computing, consumer and industrial control markets. The Company's quality systems are ISO 9001 (1994 version) and QS9000 (1998 version) certified. Microchip is headquartered in Chandler, Arizona with design facilities in Mountain View, California, Bangalore, India; and a European Design Center in Lausanne, Switzerland; semiconductor fabrication facilities in Tempe and Chandler, Arizona; Gresham, Oregon; and Puyallup, Washington; and assembly and test operations near Bangkok, Thailand. Microchip employs approximately 3,350 people worldwide and has sales offices throughout Asia, Europe, Japan and the Americas. More information on the Company can be found at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo, PIC, PICmicro, microID, MPLAB and KEELOQ are registered trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries. Application Maestro and MPLIB are trademarks of Microchip Technology Inc. DeviceNet is a trademark of ODVA. I2C is a trademark of Philips Corporation. SPI is a registered trademark of Motorola.

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