Traditionally, embedded systems engineers use in-circuit emulators (ICE) to develop and debug their designs and then programmers to transfer the code to the devices. The in-circuit debugging logic, when implemented, is part of the actual microcontroller silicon and provides a low-cost alternative to a more expensive ICE. In-circuit debugging offers these benefits:
· Low cost
· Minimum of extra hardware
· Expensive sockets or adapters are not needed
· Debugging and programming a production line board is possible
However, it has the following trade-offs:
· Use of some target system resources such as I/O pins, program memory, data memory, and stack space. As a result, some portions of an embedded application may not be debugged.
· Triggering and breakpointing are limited to the built-in capabilities of the in-circuit debugging logic.
· The target chip must be running with a clock and a supply voltage. Often an emulator probe can run without external hardware.
The MPLAB ICD 2 (In-Circuit Debugger 2)
allows debugging and programming of PIC®and dsPIC®Flash microcontrollers using the powerful graphical user interface of the MPLAB Integrated Development Environment (IDE), included with each kit. The MPLAB ICD 2 is connected to the design engineer's PC using USB or RS-232 interface and can be connected to the target via an ICD connector. The connector uses two device I/O pins that are shared between in-circuit debugging and In-Circuit Serial Programming™.
Host System Requirements
· PC-compatible system with a Intel Pentium®class or higher processor, or equivalent
· A minimum of 32 MB RAM
· A minimum of 40 MB available hard drive space
· CD-ROM drive (for use with the accompanying CD)
· Available USB or RS-232 port
· Microsoft®Windows®98, Windows NT®4.0, Windows 2000 or Windows XP. USB support may be limited by the Windows operating system, particularly Windows 98/NT.
· USB (Full Speed 2 Mbits/s) and RS-232 interface to host PC
· Real-time execution
· MPLAB IDE compatible (free copy included)
· Built-in over voltage/short circuit monitor
· Firmware upgradeable from PC/web download
· Totally enclosed
· Supports low voltage to 2.0 volts (2.0 to 6.0 range)
· Diagnostic LED's (Power, Busy, Error)
· Read/Write program and data memory of microcontroller
· Erase of program memory space with verification
· Freeze-peripherals at breakpoint
The MPLAB ICD 2 currently supports most PIC and dsPIC Flash microcontrollers. Flash PICmicro MCU’s not supported are PIC16F72/73/74/76/77/83/84A.
The MPLAB ICD 2 firmware is continually being updated to add support for new devices. A review of the README file located in MPLAB IDE is recommended for the most current list of supported parts. As new device firmware becomes available, free downloads are available at