Getting Started with PIC32

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This page details getting started with the PIC32 board.

Please complete the software section prior to lab 1.

In lab 1, you will assemble a NU32 board, install a bootloader and create a Hello World Program.



This section discusses the software that must be installed on your computer. This software is only compatible with Windows. We are going to install MPLAB (software used for editing, compiling, and debugging code), the C32 compiler (software to create the program) and the Microchip Applications Library (common source files for programming).

1. Download and Install MPLAB IDE vX.XX Full Release Zipped Installation located near the bottom of this page. You do not need to install HI-TEC C Installer when prompted.

2. Download and Install MPLAB C Compiler for PIC32 vX.XX Academic Version located near the bottom of this page (the academic version is free)

3. Download and Install the Microchip Applications Library here. This zip file is the library version released on 11-18-2009. More recent versions can be downloaded here but the files may not work with the code listed on the wiki. When installing this library, Microchip may prompt you to install .Net software. Click yes if this happens.

Assemble Board

The NU32 development board you are going to assemble already has a PIC32 microcontroller soldered on the board. You will be soldering the rest of the components as discussed here.


A bootloader is a program that enables you to easily install programs on the PIC32 using only a USB cable. Normally, an external programmer is needed for programming the PIC. The bootloader takes hex files created by the MPLAB compiler and programs them on the PIC. Hex files are binary representations of the c code. See the wikipedia page for Hex files here for more information.

Follow these directions to install a bootloader on your PIC.

First Program

We are first going to test that you installed the bootloader correctly.

- Download this HelloWorld zip and extract the hex file hex file. (This code flashes all of the LEDs at a 1 second period)

- Use these directions to load a Hex File with the bootloader.

Next, we are going to make a different Hello World program from scratch.

- Follow the directions here to code and program Hello World on to the PIC32 using the bootloader.

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