The PICkit 3 programmer/debugger (see Figure 1-1) is a simple, low-cost in-circuit debugger that is controlled by a PC running MPLAB IDE (v8.20 or greater) software on a Windows® platform. The PICkit 3 programmer/debugger is an integral part of the development engineer’s toolsuite. The application usage can vary from software development to hardware integration.
The PICkit 3 programmer/debugger is a debugger system used for hardware and software development of Microchip PIC® microcontrollers (MCUs) and dsPIC® Digital Signal Controllers (DSCs) that are based on In-Circuit Serial Programming™ (ICSP™) and Enhanced In-Circuit Serial Programming 2-wire serial interfaces. In addition to debugger functions, the PICkit 3 programmer/debugger system also may be used as a development programmer.
The debugger system executes code like an actual device because it uses a device with built-in emulation circuitry, instead of a special debugger chip, for emulation. All available features of a given device are accessible interactively, and can be set and modified by the MPLAB IDE interface.
The PICkit 3 debugger was developed for emulating embedded processors with debug facilities. The PICkit 3 features include:
- Full-speed USB support using Windows standard drivers
- Real-time execution
- Processors run at maximum speeds
- Built-in over-voltage/short circuit monitor
- Low voltage to 5V (1.8-5V range)
- Diagnostic LEDs (power, active, status)
- Read/write program and data memory of microcontroller
- Erase of all memory types (EEPROM, ID, configuration and program) with verification
- Peripheral freeze at breakpoint