According to FIRST last year, we received an MPLAB IDE that was not officially released yet, and we were getting it for free where other people had to pay. Well, that’s not the case I have found. MPLAB IDE is actually free! Yes folks, you heard me right. FREE!!
Microchip has two compilers C18 and C30. C18 is for all chips up to the 18F series. C30 is for the dsPic line. A while ago, the deal with the student version was that it expired after 60 days. With the new version the website now states:
“The Student Edition has all the features of the full compiler and libraries. After 60 days, the optimizations related to procedural abstraction and to the extended instruction set of the newer PIC18XXXX devices will be disabled. Code compiled after the expiration date will function but may occupy more memory space.”
The version included in the kit is yet another version. It is a version of C18 which has no time limit and all optamizations enabled but only works for the 18F8520.
Oh, see I thought it was that everything you had to pay for, my mistake I suppose. Last year at the kickoff they put a link on the FIRST website for downloading the updated IDE and then 2 weeks later removed it, so I thought it was something special just for us. Guess not.
Again, what was briefly made available to FIRST teams was the new version (2.4?) of the C18 compiler, not the MPLAB IDE. It was something special just for us, as it wasn’t released to the general public at that time.