chipKIT Compatible Arduino-based Makefile

December 9, 2011

The Arduino is a great platform for rapid prototyping hardware devices. If you need to squeeze a bit more performance out of your project, I’ve recently found the Digilent chipKIT a great drop-in replacement board.

The chipKIT is based on the PIC32 microcontroller (as opposed to the Ardunio’s Atmel ATmega chips), and thus uses a different toolchain for compiling. The folks at Digilent have kindly released a new version of the Arduino IDE renamed MPIDE which includes the pic32 compilers and other tools.

If you’re not wild about GUI IDEs, there are a few Arduino-compatible Makefiles floating around that allow you to build and deploy code from the command line. None of these that I’ve found have supported the chipKIT until now - I’ve published on GitHub an extended version of Martin Oldfield’s that works with the tools provided by MPIDE.

The biggest change is allowing the tool names to be overriden - e.g. you need to use pic32-gcc instead of avr-gcc. To use it, follow Martin’s instructions but instead of including at the bottom of your Makefile, just include instead.

Thanks for Martin for the well-documented Makefile - this would have taken much longer had it not been so clearly explained.