Digilent Core on Arduino

The Basys MX3 and all of our other MCU boards can now easily be programmed in the Arduino IDE using the Digilent Core for Arduino!

Historically, Digilent microcontroller boards were programmed using Microchip’s MPLAB or MPIDE tool sets. MPLAB isn’t going anywhere and we are continuing to stand behind it as an effective IDE for exposing students to professional grade tools and 32-bit processors. However, the same cannot be said for MPIDE.

A little over a year ago Microchip officially moved away from MPIDE as the tool used to program their chipKIT boards with the release of the chipKIT core for Arduino. Since then we began pointing our MCU customers toward the chipKIT core, beginning with this blog post. But now, we have our own Digilent Core for Arduino that includes all of the board files, compilers, and programmers necessary to program Digilent PIC32 boards using Arduino. All Digilent MCU boards, including the Basys MX3, are now supported.

Getting started with the Digilent Core for Arduino is easy. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you have the proper prerequisites. Namely, see that Arduino 1.6.9 is installed. The newer versions have introduced complications with file inclusions, but may still work.
  2. Add the board manager URL by opening Arduino and pasting this URL into the “Additional Boards Manager URLs” box under File>Preferences.
  3. Open the Arduino boards manager and install the Digilent Core.

And that’s it! Once the Digilent Core has finished installing, the Digilent boards can be selected in the Tools>Board menu. For the complete tutorial with more detailed instructions and images, go here.

For any questions or comments, please visit the Digilent Forum or post in the comment section below!

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