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What software is the best for PIC?

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Junior Member level 2
Feb 12, 2003
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What software is the best for PIC?
(Debug, Emulation, Compiler, Link....)


I prefer CCS PCWH. I think it's the easiest to use and it has a lot of built in libraries and functions. It is much easier to use than HI TECH. The "Code Wizard" is a really nice feature to start a new project very quickly and easy.

PIC Compiler Comparison:

Independent Review of the CCS C compiler:

Independent Review of the Hi-Tech C compiler:

Independent Review of the Hi-Tech C compiler for Microchip PIC18x:

You didn't say what language you wish to use.

I would agree with "Me" about CCS for C programming.

I would say that PBP2.43 is very good for Basic Programming.

You can use PBP2.43 with Mplabs and with that combination, write,simulate,debug,and program the PIC.

Just my 2 Cents Worth.


Do you have PBP2.43 enigma460?

Yes I do have it but it is a purchased item for work and unfortunately my boss would not appreciate it being passed around.

If you are just doing hobbiest type stuff, version 2.42 will be sufficent and you can find that all over the place. If you are gaining money from it , then I would puchase it because it becomes a tax write off.


I din't thought anyone used basic for professional use. Most professionals uses C or assembly for embedded programming.

I'm use CCS PCWH and assembly for Advence Projects but use PBP 2.42 for a little Projects . Anyhow I have PBP 2.43 but I can't unzip password.

Hi, i have used mplab for little asm proyects, but actually i'm using IAR and i thinks it's very good, since you can compile and debug in C, and you have a very nice desktop.

I prefer to use assembler.
It is not really hard to learn for the POC and there is a lot of example code available on the web.
Furthermore it is free!!!

I tried Picbasic but did run into some interrupt troubles. Knowing the solution in assembler I jumped back to assembler and feel very comforatble with it. You have full control of the processor and YOU determine what will happen and when it will happen.

The basic version of the same software did show me that a lot of program memory and ram were used for only 6 lines of code in basic!!
Don't feel very comfortable with that.

So, I prefer assembler.

I agree ccs is quite simple to learn if you can write code in c/c++.There are many instant functions specified for pics.But i think it is a little buggy.Sometimes it can produce ridiculous codes and buggy menus.I hope they will fix it.



CCS is very good.
You can use it with MPLAB 6 to simulate and debug your projects.

Pharaoh Of Egypt


I have over 20 years experience in programming and could say "Stop wasting your time with assembler!". After I moved to C my productivity jumped 5-7 times!!! And after I started to work with SA*L*VO R*TOS the jump was the same like from assembler to C.

For sure the best C compilers are not CC*S, but I*AR and HiT*ech. Look at the prices - they speak for this.... I tried all of them and could say that I*AR and HiT*ech are the best.


Last time I looked, CCS didn't have a linker, so all programs end up in one big file. Only good for trivial programs!
No good for libs or code reuse.

Try to use HITECH PICC, is nice C compiler.

And what about debugger for PIC 16xxx 18xxx? :oops:

I think a good debugger is as important as a good compiler.

CCS is good with MPLAB

IAR and Hitech are very powerful tools

for small projects use PICBASIC&assembler. I'm not agree with the opinion that the interruption manage is a truble in PICBASIC. only you need to program it correctly.

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