Release Notes for MPLAB® X IDE v1.20

May 29, 2012

Table of Contents

1        System Requirements

2        Java Standard Edition (SE) Requirements

3        Compiler Support

4        Documentation Support

5        Installing MPLAB X IDE

6        Uninstalling MPLAB X IDE

7        What's New in v1.20

8        Repairs and Enhancements Made in v1.20

9        Checksum Changes

10      Known Problems

11      Unsupported Features and Tools

12      Microchip Plug-In Support

13      Starter Kit Support

14      Version Control Systems Support

15      Collaborative Projects Support

16      Customer Support

1      System Requirements

1.1      Minimum Configurations

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7 Professional:

·         Processor: 800MHz Intel Pentium III or equivalent

·         Memory: 512 MB

·         Disk space: 400 MB of free disk space

Ubuntu 9.10:

·         Processor: 800MHz Intel Pentium III or equivalent

·         Memory: 512 MB

·         Disk space: 400 MB of free disk space

Macintosh OS X 10.5 Intel:

·         Processor: Dual-Core Intel (32 or 64-bit)

·         Memory: 512 MB

·         Disk space: 400 MB of free disk space

1.2      Recommended Configurations

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7 Professional:

·         Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent

·         Memory: 2 GB

·         Disk space: 500 MB of free disk space

Ubuntu 9.10:

·         Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium IV or equivalent

·         Memory: 2 GB

·         Disk space: 500 MB of free disk space

Macintosh OS X 10.6 Intel:

·         Processor: Dual-Core Intel (32 or 64-bit)

·         Memory: 2 GB

·         Disk space: 500 MB of free disk space

1.3      Other Configurations

MPLAB X IDE may also run on the various other Linux distributions such as Oracle Enterprise Linux 5, Ubuntu 8.x and 10.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and many others.

1.4      Development Tool Support

Support on the 64-bit Windows OSs is tool-dependent, as shown in the following table.

Table: 64-Bit Windows OS USB Device Driver Support by Tool

Tool Name

64-Bit Support

No 64-Bit Support

MPLAB PM3 Device Programmer*

P/N 10-00398

P/N 10-00359

MPLAB REAL ICE In-Circuit Emulator



MPLAB ICD 3 In-Circuit Debugger



PICkit 2 Programmer/Debug Express



PICkit 3 Programmer/Debug Express



Starter Kits**



* MPLAB PM3 not supported in MPLAB X IDE at this time. It will be available in a future release.

** The PIC32 Starter Kit on 64-bit OSs uses the Microchip 64-bit driver.

2      Java Standard Edition (SE) Requirements

MPLAB X IDE now includes the correct Java Runtime Environment (JRE) for your system, so you should not need to download it separately. However, if you encounter issues, more information on the JRE is provided in this section.

The current version of MPLAB X IDE is based on the NetBeans platform v6.9.1 which was developed to work with the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) v6 (1.6.x). Therefore, this version of the JRE must be installed on your system to ensure correct MPLAB X IDE functionality.

Note: JRE 1.6.26 and v7 (1.7.x) cause unexpected behavior in MPLAB X IDE. Do not use.

You can download the JRE for your platform from one of the sites listed below:

·         Windows, Linux and Solaris:

·         Mac OS X:
for Mac OS X 10.5 and higher (includes Java SE 6, version 1.6.0_17 for 64-bit Intel-based Macs (Core2Duo processors))

Note: Java upgrades for Mac OS X are also available via Apple's Software Update mechanism.

·         Open VMS:

3      Compiler Support

Current compiler versions supported are:




9.70 and later


9.63 and later

MPLAB C Compiler for PIC18 MCUs

3.35 upgrade and later

MPLAB C Compiler for PIC24 MCUs and dsPIC DSCs (and derivatives)

3.23 and later

MPLAB C Compiler for PIC32 MCUs

1.11 and later


1.0 and later


1.0 and later


1.0 and later

See “Known Problems” for migration issues.

4      Documentation Support

Current help files (Help>Help Contents) are for all tools currently supported in MPLAB X IDE. As other tools or plug-ins are added, their help files will be added to the Help window.

The MPLAB X IDE User’s Guide (DS52027) may be found in the MPLAB X IDE install with the Readmes.

To view the device data sheet, you can click on the PDF icon on the Dashboard window (Window>Dashboard) to open a local copy or search the Microchip website.

Another method is to add the local PDF to the Favorites window (Window>Favorites) which allows shortcuts to common content. Right click in the windows to Add to Favorites.

You can also add the PDF to the “Important Files” folder of your project. Right click on this folder and select “Add Existing Item”. Browse to the location of the PDF. The file will be added to the folder. Double click on it to launch it from this location.

If you want to create your own logical folder, right click on the project where you want to add the folder and select "New Logical Folder" from the context menu. This will create a logical folder with a default name of “New Folder”. Then right click on this new folder and select "Rename". Type the name you want and hit return. To add a file to this folder, right click on the folder and select "Add Existing Item".

5      Installing MPLAB X IDE

Basic steps for installing MPLAB X IDE are given below. For more information see the MPLAB X IDE Help file.

To install MPLAB X IDE on your system:

For some Windows OSs, administrative access is required in order to install software on a PC.

·         If installing from a CD-ROM, place the disk into a CD drive. Follow the on-screen menu to install MPLAB X IDE. If no on-screen menu appears, use Windows Explorer to find and execute the CD-ROM menu, menu.exe.

·         If downloading MPLAB X IDE from the Microchip web site (, locate the download (.exe) file, select the file and save it to the PC. Execute the file to install.

6      Uninstalling MPLAB X IDE

Virus protection software can interfere with the Uninstaller. If your uninstall fails, refer to your virus protection software documentation to determine how to exclude “Uninstall MPLAB X IDE.exe” from virus scans.

To uninstall MPLAB X IDE:

For Windows OS:

·         Select Start>Settings>Control Panel to open the Control Panel.

·         Double click on “Add/Remove Programs”. Find MPLAB X IDE on the list and click on it.

·         Click Change/Remove to remove the program from your system.

For Mac OS:

·         Select Finder.

·         Go to Applications>microchip>mplabx>Uninstall MPLAB X IDE.

For Linux OS:

·         $ sudo /opt/microchip/mplabx/Uninstall\ MPLAB\ X\ IDE

Uninstalling Multiple Installations

If you install MPLAB X IDE in the default directory and then install MPLAB X IDE again in another directory, the Windows uninstall manager will only uninstall the latest (or one) version. There will not be two registry entries for the same version to uninstall. To uninstall the second installation, use “Uninstall MPLAB X IDE.exe” found under the MPLABX directory.

7      What's New in v1.20

·         XC Compiler Support – Support for new MPLAB XC8, MPLABXC16 and MPLAB XC32 C Compilers.

·         Enable Low Voltage Programming for Enhanced Midrange Devices – Low voltage programming may now be selected for enhanced mid-range devices (PIC12F/16F1xxx). Find this option checkbox under the debug tool Programmer Setting dialog, Program Memory tab.

·         Debug Mode Reads (8-bit) – This feature allows a user to read Program or EEPROM memory for enhanced mid-range devices (PIC12F/16F1xxx) without needing to leave the debug session (i.e., the read icon is not grayed out during debug.) Reading while debugging may take some time depending on your oscillator speed. After a read is performed, the debugging session does not get reset and the customer can continue on with their debugging.

·         Loading Multiple Projects/Images (Loadable Projects) – This feature allows easy debugging of bootloader applications.  MPLAB X IDE will allow customers to easily integrate two different projects into a single debugging environment. You can set up loadable projects/images by right clicking on the “Loadables” folder in the Project window or in clicking on “Loading” in the Project Properties window.

·         Preserve User ID – This will allow customers to re-program various sections of their devices without having to save off and reprogram USER ID information. Set this option in the Project Properties window by clicking on your tool name and selecting the option category “Memories to Program”.

·         Normalized Hex file – Create a hex file where addresses are in incremental order instead of linker order. Select this option in the Project Properties window, “Building” node, “Normalize Hex file” checkbox.

·         Shadow Registers Viewable Support - Some devices contain SFRs that occupy the same address, but have different functionality, such as those devices that contain the CAN peripheral. The dual purpose SFR switches functionality based on the state of other SFR bits. The MPLAB X SFR register window will allow you to view the different register names, depending on the setting of the switching SFR.

·         Watches Window Enhancements - Watches window now supports dynamic index in an array.

·         Instrumented Trace (dsPIC DSCs) – Instrumented trace available for some dsPIC devices.

·         CAN Calculator Plug-in – Due to the complexity of setting up CAN registers, a plug-in to MPLAB X IDE has been developed to make it easy to calculate these CAN values. The plug-in has a graphical user interface and will work for 32- and 16-bit devices. It is available on the plug-in download site.

·         IPE (Integrated Production Environment) BETA – This application will provide a stand-alone solution to customers who want to program their devices on a production environment. It will support MPLAB PM3, PICkit 3, MPLAB REAL ICE in-circuit emulator, and MPLAB ICD 3.  There will be two modes to the IPE. The basic mode will only allow basic functionality that would easily accommodate a production facility. An Advanced mode will provide more complex functionality that Technician or Engineers will need to access.

8      Repairs and Enhancements Made in v1.20





Incorrect debug resource reserved on using HI-TECH PICC18 compiler.



PIC12F529T39A is categorized into midrange device instead of Baseline device



Watch Window shows "Out of scope" for a local static variable.

PIC32 Devices


ProgramFileProcessingException when loading ELF



Default Embedded C32 Source Files Contained "Comments/Notes" that are not commented

PIC32 Devices


Configuration Bits generator incorrectly adds p24Exxxx.h instead of p24Fxxxx.h to the configuration information

PIC24 Devices


The watch window does not correctly display the values for fields of structures qualified using the const keyword.

All device families


__PIC24FK__ and other MPLABX macros like this are missing - v1.10



Real ICE is returning incorrect data when reading code protected PIC32 devices

PIC32 devices


Generate Source Code for Config Bits #including wrong header file



RealICE reports Unknown Firmware when connecting to some newer PIC32MX devices

PIC32MX130/150/230/250Fxxxx devices


Some ECAN registers such as CiRXMnSID, CiRXMnEID, CiBUFPNT1, CiRXFnSID cannot be added to the watch window in MPLAB X IDE

ECAN Devices


Port direction does NOT change to output mode when Output Compare Module is enabled

PIC24FJ64GA010, dsPIC33FJ128MC710


Upon detection of the Fault condition, the OCFLT bit (OC1CON<4>) is NOT asserted high (logic '1') in MPLAB X IDE

dsPIC30F2020, dsPIC30F2023


Output Compare Module : Interrupt NOT generated when compare match occurs in Single Compare Match mode

dsPIC30F2020, dsPIC30F2023


Output Compare module NOT working correctly in PWM Mode

dsPIC30F2020, dsPIC30F2023


Output Compare module NOT working correctly in Dual Compare Mode

dsPIC30F2020, dsPIC30F2023

9      Checksum Changes

The following sections detail changes to checksum calculations per MPLAB X IDE version.

9.1      Checksum Changes in v1.0

Checksum issues for 16 devices including:

·         PIC18LF26K22

·         PIC16CR620A

·         PIC18F4458

·         PIC16F526          

·         PIC32MX575F256L

·         PIC32MX575F512H

·         PIC32MX575F512L

·         dsPIC33EP256MU806

·         dsPIC33EP256MU810

·         dsPIC33EP256MU814

·         dsPIC33EP512MU810

·         dsPIC33EP512MU814

·         PIC24EP256GU810

·         PIC24EP256GU814

·         PIC24EP512GU810

·         PIC24EP512GU814

Checksum issues still exist for those devices. They currently display as “NA” under MPLAB X IDE whereas they previously showed an incorrect value. To see the checksum you must be in run mode (Run>Run Project.)

10   Known Problems

The following is a list of known problems. For information on common problems, error messages and limitations please see the online help file for MPLAB X IDE. Bolded numbers represents internal tracking numbers.

·         For MPLAB C Compiler for 16-bit Devices (C30) versions less than v3.30, the compiler does not include the files needed for instrumented trace. For those versions, MPLAB X IDE provides the files in:
MPLAB X IDE adds the -I to the compiler and the -l pointing to the directory above. However, for Mac the directory is not appended correctly. If you are using an C30 version less than 3.30, to be able to build a project with trace you need to go to the project properties (right click on project, select properties), then click on the pic30-gcc node. This will bring up the options available for the compiler. Click on the ... button on the Include directories option and add the directory listed above. Then click on the pic30-ld node. Select the libraries option category in the combo box, click on the ... button on the Library directories and add the same directory.

·         PICC18 version 9.66 and earlier compilers have an issue when creating debug builds for REAL ICE, ICD3 and PICKit3 on some PIC18 devices. The space that needs to be reserved for the debug executive is dependent on the IDE version you are using. If you are using the latest MPLAB X IDE but one of the older compilers indicated above, the reserved space for the debug executive may not be adequate and result in the Debug executive overwriting user's code and causing subsequent code failure. The memory ranges required by your debugger are indicted in that debugger's on-line help. To ensure they are not available to the compiler, remove these ranges using the compiler's —ROM option or its equivalent in the IDE. The map file produced by the compiler will allow you to confirm that the correct regions were reserved.

·         Microchip recommends upgrading to the latest compiler.





For the PIC18F87J11 and PIC18F87J50 families, the alternate registers in the 'Shared Address SFRs' pairs are not found in the SFR window and cannot be added to the Watches window

PIC18F87J11 family,
PIC18F87J50 family


Preserve Memory Range results in failure to program.



Long freeze up after changing Project Properties .



MPLAB X IDE debugging does not update all SFRs for PIC24EP512GU810/814

PIC24EP512GU810/ PIC24EP512GU814.
Other devices may be affected too.


Only the lower nibble of each byte is shown in the User ID memory window.



MPLABX v1.00a - internal NetBeans project files should be refreshed when the toolsuite, even the compiler version, is/are changed



Application Input/Output is disabled/broken on MPLAB X for EP devices and 32MX

PIC24EP, dsPIC33EP, PIC32MX families


Exporting Tools>Options doesn't work correctly



Other Files' Logical Folder Presents the Actions from the 'Important Files' Folder!



Add MCV and rfPIC devices to MPLAB X IDE.



There are two instances of 'Use high voltage on MCLR' checkboxes in the options



When adding a library function or macro to a program, MPLAB X IDE may flag it as an error (bang in a red circle) but the program compiles and runs with no problems. This is a communication error between MPLAB X IDE and the compiler. The issue is being worked on.



MPLAB X IDE on Linux does not properly disconnect from MicroStick; requires physical disconnect



Missing navigate>goto declaration for MPASM version 7.11



Add Editor Formatting options for Assembler



PIC24 .S files with .PINCBIN compiler directive; can't set include dir so compiler can find .bin file



Hold/Release from Reset buttons should be grayed out in MPLAB X IDE when used with the Microstick as they are not supported



"Package" project option doesn't package all the files in a project resulting in build failures(error: include files not found)



Unable to build a project for a 16-bit device with TRACE and LOG calls in the source code for REALICE Trace in Linux 32-bit OS



SKDE PIC32: calling DBG_PRINTF back to back can lock up MPLAB X and MPLAB 8


11   Unsupported Features and Tools

The following features are not yet supported:

·         Watch color on changed values

·         Some Simulator Peripherals

·         Code Coverage

·         Code Profiling

The following tools are still under development:

·         MPLAB PM3 programmer (coming soon!)

·         Segmented Display Designer

·         Graphical Display Designer

The following tools are not supported now nor will be in the future:

·         MPLAB ICE 2000

·         MPLAB ICE 4000

·         MPLAB ICD 2

·         PICkit 1

·         PROMATE II

·         PICSTART Plus

·         MPLAB VDI

·         AN851 Bootloader

·         AN901/908

12   Microchip Plug-In Support

MPLAB X IDE supports a number of Microchip plug-ins under Tools>Plugins. Enable applicable applications.

Microchip Tool

Device Support

Data Monitor Control Interface (DMCI)


dsPIC Filter Design

dsPIC30F/33F DSCs

dsPIC30F SMPS Buck Converter


dsPIC33F SMPS Buck/Boost Converter


Memory Starter Kit

Memory devices (serial EEPROM)

Graphical Display Designer

Devices that are supported by the Microchip Graphics library

CAN Calculator

Devices with CAN peripheral



FreeRTOS Viewer

Same as RTOS used

Third-Party Tools: See the Readme for Third Party Tools.htm for more on supported third-party tools.

Debuggers, Programmers and Starter Kits: See the individual tool Readme files or other documentation for more information on each tool.

13   Starter Kit Support

The following starter kits are supported:

·         dsPIC Starter Kit 1 (Audio), dsPIC33FJ256GP506

·         PIC24F Starter Kit 1, PIC24FJ256GB106

·         PIC24H Sensor Starter Kit, PIC24HJ128GP504

·         Microstick, PIC24HJ64GP502, dsPIC33FJ64MC802, PIC24HJ128GP502, dsPIC33FJ128MC802

·         PIC18FJ Starter kit  (PIC18FJ46J50, PIC18FJ67J50)

·         PIC32 Starter Kit

·         PIC32 USB Starter Board

·         PIC32 USB Starter Kit II

·         PIC32 Ethernet Starter Kit

·         MCHV: (not tested) dsPIC33FJ32MC204, dsPIC33FJ12MC202, dsPIC33FJ128MC804, dsPIC33FJ256MC710

14   Version Control Systems Support

MPLAB X IDE has a built-in local file history feature, compliments of the NetBeans platform. This feature provides built-in versioning support for local projects and files, similar to conventional version control systems. Available tools include a local DIFF and file restoration. For more on Local History options, see the MPLAB X IDE Help.

Source control program support includes:

·         CVS -

·         Subversion v1.6 (v1.7 causes issues) -

·         Mercurial -

15   Collaborative Projects Support

Collaborate on code development with your group using a team server supported inside MPLAB X IDE. Supported programs are:

Kenai –

Bugzilla –


16   Customer Support

16.1   The Microchip Web Site

Microchip provides online support via our web site at This web site is used as a means to make files and information easily available to customers. Accessible by using your favorite Internet browser, the web site contains the following information:

·         Product Support - Data sheets and errata, application notes and sample programs, design resources, user's guides and hardware support documents, latest software releases and archived software

·         General Technical Support - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), technical support requests, online discussion groups/forums (, Microchip consultant program member listing

·         Business of Microchip - Product selector and ordering guides, latest Microchip press releases, listing of seminars and events, listings of Microchip sales offices, distributors and factory representatives

16.2   myMICROCHIP Personalized Notification Service

Microchip's personal notification service helps keep customers current on their Microchip products of interest. Subscribers will receive e-mail notification whenever there are changes, updates, revisions or errata related to a specified product family or development tool.

Please visit to begin the registration process and select your preferences to receive personalized notifications. A FAQ and registration details are available on the page, which can be opened by selecting the link above.

When you are selecting your preferences, choosing “Development Systems” will populate the list with available development tools. The main categories of tools are listed below:

·         Compilers – These include all MPLAB C compilers; all MPLAB assemblers (including MPASM™ assembler); all MPLAB linkers (including MPLINK™ object linker); and all MPLAB librarians (including MPLIB™ object librarian), as well as HI-TECH C compilers.

·         Emulators – These include the MPLAB REAL ICE™ and MPLAB ICE 2000 in-circuit emulators

·         In-Circuit Debuggers – These include the MPLAB ICD 3 in-circuit debugger, MPLAB ICD 2 in-circuit debugger, PICkit™ 3 debug express and PICkit 2 debug express.

·         MPLAB X IDE – This includes MPLAB X IDE, the Windows® Integrated Development Environment for development systems tools, MPLAB X IDE Project Manager, MPLAB Editor and MPLAB SIM simulator, as well as general editing and debugging features.

·         Programmers –These include the MPLAB PM3 and PRO MATE II device programmers and the PICSTART® Plus and PICkit 1, 2 and 3 development programmers.

·         Starter/Demo Boards – These include MPLAB Starter Kit boards, PICDEM demo boards, and various other evaluation boards.

16.3   Additional Support

Users of Microchip products can receive assistance through several channels:

·         Distributor or Representative

·         Local Sales Office

·         Field Application Engineer (FAE)

·         Technical Support

Customers should contact their distributor, representative or field application engineer (FAE) for support. Local sales offices are also available to help customers. A listing of sales offices and locations is available on our website.

Technical support is available through the web site at:

Internal ID: v1.20rc6