Developing PICs on Mac OS X
Intro to PICs on Mac
Sunday, 28 October 2007 17:47

Whilst Microchip distribute the free MPLAB IDE for Windows, there are many solutions from the open-source community which can be ported to the Mac platform.Unfortunately the only solution to a complete development environment, from C code authoring to in-circuit debugging, is still only possible on Windows, with MPLAB. However if you don't need (or don't have the hardware required) to debug then you can go a long way with the open-source (or commercial) tools available for the Mac. If you're still keen to get going then read on...


Microchip released a new version of their IDE called MPLAB X. This offers full support for Windows, Mac and Linux. It can be downloaded for free and installers for the new IDE and C compilers can be found here.

It seems to only support the most recent programmers/debuggers, i.e. PICkit 3, ICD 3, although I have seen suggestions that some of the newest ICD 2 models are supported.

I have only managed to play with it as an editor/compiler (because of the above) but so far it looks pretty good.

ICD2 Programmer
Tuesday, 04 December 2007 21:05

Ben Suffolk has written a command line app for programming & verifying PICs via the Microchip ICD2 and the compatible (and cheaper!) Olimex TinyICD. More information and downloads from his site.

PICSTART plus Programmer
Tuesday, 04 December 2007 20:55

PICSTART is a dedicated (not in-circuit) programmer capable of programming most PICs. The software tools are also compatible with the JuPICWarp-13OlimexAltronix AL-1700 programmers.

Download this file ([PICP Source and Binaries]104 Kb14/03/09 21:30
PICkit Programmers
Sunday, 28 October 2007 21:53

The cheapest tools offered by Microchip for programming PICs are the PICkit tools, now updated with the PICkit 3 Debug Express. The following tools can be used to program a wide range of PICs using the PICkit 1 and 2 programmers...

Download this file ([usb_pickit and pk2 installer]258 Kb14/03/09 21:32
SDCC C Compiler
Tuesday, 04 December 2007 21:47

The Small Devices C Compiler is a open-source compiler designed for a range of 8 bit microprocessors and has active ports for the 8-bit PICs. More information can be found on their SourceForge page.

Download this file (Small Devices C Compiler for Intel Devices C Compiler for Intel[SDCC for Intel Macs]3663 Kb14/03/09 21:38
Microchip MPLAB C Compilers
Sunday, 30 August 2009 13:05

An interesting point to note for the more adventurous amongst you: Microchip's own C compilers (MPLAB C18, C30 and C32) are all based on the ubiquitous GCC compiler and Microchip publishes the source code on their web site (if you do a bit of digging). I haven't yet tried to compile any of these for the Mac but there is somebody who has built the C30 compiler, and has made instructions and some scripts available on their web site.

PICC C compiler
Tuesday, 04 December 2007 21:30

Hi-Tech's range of PICC Compilers are widely acknowledged as some of the most efficient for PIC coding. Whilst these are not open-source they distribute Mac and Linux versions alongside Windows, and the restricted PICC Lite is available for free. The HI-TIDE IDE, based on Eclipse, is also great for development work.

More information and downloads can be found found on their site

GPUtils Assembler
Tuesday, 04 December 2007 21:16

GPUtils is a range of open source tools for developing PIC programs, including the GPASM assembler which is fully compatible with Microchip's own MPASM assembly language. 

Download this file (GPUtils for Intel for Intel[GPUtils installer for Intel Macs]1742 Kb14/03/09 21:44
Download this file ([GPUtils installer for PowerPC]1360 Kb14/03/09 21:42