15th Annual Microchip MASTERs Conference and CCS Class

Tuesday 19 June, 2012

CCS, Inc. is hard at work preparing for the 15th annual Microchip's MASTERs Conference this August in Phoenix, AZ, where a CCS representative will have an informational booth set up from 7am to 7pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The focus this year is Expand your Embedded Control Skills, and is an ideal topic for CCS's lead engineer, Darren Rook, to be teaching two four-hour classes entitled 1620 CCS C Compiler for Rapid Development of Microcontroller Applications.

Attendees of the CCS Rapid Development will learn several techniques for reusing code, easy 8-bit PIC® MCU migration, and using the CCS API to control PIC® MCU peripherals. For the hands-on portion of the course, participants will experience the speed and ease of developing complex applications from scratch, using the CCS C Compiler. Also covered will be the use of the application Wizard, basic IDE use, programming concepts and advanced debugging techniques, as well new features of the compiler.

The year's conference runs from August 6th through the 11th, and will be held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort. For more information on the conference, to register, or to sign up for the CCS class, please visit the Microchip MASTERs website.

MPLAB® ICD 2, dsPIC®DSC and PIC®MCU are registered trade marks of Microchip Technology Inc in the U.S.A and other contries.

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CCS Supports EP Devices

Monday 30 January, 2012

CCS is now supporting the new Microchip PIC24/dsPIC family of EP Devices! Use the compiler to access several key benefits of an EP device.

The EP Devices we currently support operate at 60 MIPS, regular chips operate at 40 MIPS. They have a max regular program memory of 536 KB, while regular chips have a max regular program memory of 256 KB. They also have a max regular of 53 KB RAM, and regular chips have a max regular of 30 KB.

CCS now suports:

- PIC24EP256GU810
- PIC24EP256GU814
- PIC24EP512GU810
- PIC24EP512GU814
- DSPIC33EP256MU806
- DSPIC33EP256MU810
- DSPIC33EP256MU814
- DSPIC33EP512MU810
- DSPIC33EP512MU814

In a nutshell these EP devices are much faster and have: more Program Memory, more RAM, more ADC Channels, more Input Capture Modules, more Output Compare Modules, more SPI Modules, more DMA Channels, and more Motor Control PWM Channels.

Don't forget that these devices still have 9 16-bit timers, 4 UART modules, 2 ECAN modules, 5 external interrupts, a DCI modules, a CRC Generator, 2 QEI modules (for dsPIC33EP only), and USP peripherals. Debugging is not yet supported for EP chips.

All CCS Programmers and CCSload also support this family. Visit to view all CCS products.

Featuring: Keep File Change History

Monday 30 January, 2012

There are several great features in the CCS IDE compilers that give a helping hand to users. A handy one to try is the "Keep File Change History". Our engineers love it and we know you will too.

This feature recognizes any changes made in your code, and saves the history in a separate file on your PC. If you ever need to go back and reference the code, all of the previous code was saved for use! This feature is very user friendly and simple to use.

Just follow these steps to utilize this feature in your CCS IDE compiler.

- Open up your IDE Compiler
- View the Options Tab
- Click on the Editor Properties
- In the Editor Options Box, check the "Keep File Change History" box
- Choose how often you want to save the changes in the drop down box
- Choose the maximum number of files
- Press OK
- Compiler away!

To view our IDE compilers, visit:

BUY NOW!! Prices and Product Configurations Will Be Changing

Monday 12 September, 2011

If you were holding out on buying that Development Kit, Programmer/Debugger or even upgrading your Compiler, now is the time to purchase! Beginning September 15, 2011, CCS will be implementing some product configuration or price changes to accommodate our goal to provide low-cost development tools. Due to an increase in materials cost, some products may increase in cost, while other products may not.

Software prices will not change in 2011. . . .but all software purchased after September 16, 2011 (5:00 pm CST) will no longer include a CD-rom and Compiler manual(s). Any customer that requires a hard copy and manual of the software may purchase this at an additional fee of $15 and will need to pay shipping. CCS allows and recommends customers to archive their software that is downloaded from our website on a back-up drive or CD-rom at their disposal. The latest CCS C Compiler Manuals are also available in PDF to download.

Between September 15 and December 31, 2011, you will notice prices changing on many of the Development Tools, including boards and programmers. The quality of the Development Tools will remain the same, and supporting documentation will be included. CCS continuously strives to provide competitively low-priced tools to all levels of developers.

Prices are subject to change at our discretion and we will only honor special pricing if part of a promotion with a valid discount code that is within the expiration period of that promotion.

CCS IDE Compiler Enhances Software Maintainability and Testing

Thursday 01 September, 2011

The IDE compiler has been enhanced to provide developers better insight into the state of their code. The powerful Code Metrics Report provides a set of five measurements that help embedded engineers gain a better understanding of what aspects of their code could be potentially changed to improve maintainability and testability.

Number of Functions, Statements and Comments

Functions that are exceptionally large are potential candidates for refactoring. The IDE Compiler reports the number of functions, statements per function and comments. Embedded developers can use this information to rapidly identify large functions that may benefit from being broken down into a number of smaller, more maintainable functions.

Cyclomatic Complexity

Cyclomatic complexity is the number of independent paths through the code. Code with a higher value of cyclomatic complexity can be harder to test and maintain, since each path must be tested. The cyclomatic complexity is useful to both the developer and engineering project manager as it helps determine the number of test cases the code requires.

Halstead Metrics

Halstead metrics are a well established method of measuring the size and complexity of source code. The IDE reports the Halstead Code Volume and Difficulty for each function in a project and for the project as a whole. Volume is a more sophisticated measure of code size than the number of lines of code and Difficulty measures the difficulty of writing or understanding the code. This measurement helps to justify time spent developing the code and effort to maintain it.

Time to Implement

The Halstead metrics are used to report Time to Implement, which represents the average amount of time it would take a developer to implement the code, given it's measured size and complexity.

Maintainability Index

The Maintainability Index combines several metrics, including Cyclomatic Complexity and Halstead Code Volume to report how maintainable code will be over time. It can help developers and engineering managers quantify and report software quality improvements to non-technical business executives.

The Code Metrics Report is just one of many productivity tools available to CCS IDE-Compiler owners with software download rights. To learn more about how code metrics can help improve embedded software quality and test coverage, go to

CCS Programming Solutions Help Prevent Design Theft

Thursday 01 September, 2011

The CCSLoad programmer control software has been enhanced to help companies protect their intellectual property. Beginning with version 4.032, CCSLoad now gives embedded developers the option of generating encrypted hex files for their Microchip PIC® MCU. The encrypted hex file can be distributed to manufacturing sites without fear that it will be disassembled and the source code reverse engineered.

The encrypted hex file is designed to work in tandem with the CCS ICD-U64, MACH X, Load-n-Go and Prime 8 programmers. The programmers work in conjunction with CCSLoad at the manufacturing site, writing the hex file to the target and setting the MCU security bits as specified in the encrypted file. Since there are no intermediate or temporary unencrypted hex files ever present in the host PC's memory, the design is not able to be hacked by interrupting CCSLoad as the PC downloads the hex file.

CCS makes it easy to safeguard your designs...and it is absolutely free to ICD-U64, MACH-X, Load-n-Go and Prime 8 programmer owners. Updated versions of CCSLoad are available online to users wishing to take advantage of this new capability. Download CCSload from

Don't own a CCS programmer? CCS offers great programmers at incredible prices. And to make our pricing even sweeter, IDE-Compiler owners receive a $50 discount on the Load-n-Go handheld, battery operated ICSP™ programmer/debugger. Use discount code: SECURE

CCS IDE-Compiler Enhancements Boost Developer Productivity

Thursday 01 September, 2011

Real Time Data Stream Plotting Added to IDE Compilers

CCS IDE Compilers are able to read data streamed to a PC where it can be plotted in real time using the IDE's SIOW (Serial Input/Output Monitor). Devices capable of outputting comma delimited ASCII data through a USB or RS-232 port can have their output displayed in real-time on a graph from within the IDE. The device can be connected directly to the PC's USB or serial port; no debugger or other hardware is required. This capability is especially useful when debugging data aquisition systems and sensors, motion control systems, etc. To see an example of SIOW data plotting, go to

Track Source File Revisions with Keep File Change History

The IDE now has an option to keep copies of all source file changes in a history directory. Each copy of the file has a unique version number appended to the filename. The version number is incremented each time another copy of the file is written to the history directory.
IDE editor options give users the flexibility to control how source file changes are saved. Users can choose to place a copy of the source file in the history directory every time the file is saved. Alternatively, users can limit the frequency of history copy creation by time or by number of file save operations.

Expanded Device Serialization Options

The CCS compiler's #SERIALIZE source code declaration is used to place unique ID numbers in programmed devices. The declaration makes serial numbers easier to implement when working with CCS programmers.

User declared variable types now enable more efficient storage of serial numbers in Microchip PIC® PIC24 MCU program memory. Developers can specify the starting address and number of bytes used to store the serial number, as well as the source of the initial number.

Bootloading Made Simple

CCS now provides a free command line PC bootload utility, CCS Bootloader, to simplify the development of field updatable products. This utility is designed to work with CCS like bootloaders. And the best part may be distributed as part of a user's end product without having to pay a royalty. To download the utility, go to

PIC® is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Inc in the U.S.A and other countries.

CCS Development Tools Reduce Cost of Diagnostic Serial Ports

Monday 25 July, 2011

CCS announced today that their optimizing C compiler, ICD-U64 programmer/debugger and CCSLoad programmer control software have been upgraded to support the streaming of serial data through the Microchip PIC® MCU ICSP™ interface. Repurposing the programming interface as a serial port reduces cost during product development, production and after deployment in the field.

When prototyping, developers can use the interface to gain valuable insight into program operation, almost in real-time. While software debuggers can be used with the ICSP interface, use often requires that the processor be halted to allow for examination and modification of variable values. This new streaming approach allows diagnostic and performance data to be output and charted without stopping execution, of particular importance when debugging multiprocessor systems.

During production, line personnel can display and set calibration data from a PC terminal, enter serial numbers and run special production tests. This is especially useful when the end product does not include I/O devices that could be used for these functions.

After the product is deployed, field engineers can access fault logs, monitor and diagnose problems. Operating parameters can be updated without having to reload an entirely new software image.

While use of serial ports to input and output text is not new, implementation of the serial port requires hardware resources that may not be needed during normal operation. A full duplex serial port normally consumes two MCU pins for the UART, plus an RS-232 level translator and connector on the target board. Production boards may eliminate the component cost by not populating the translator and connector, however the bare footprints still consume valuable real estate. This can negatively effect not only PCB cost, but also the end product.

A new CCS C compiler built-in function allows developers to use familiar "printf" and "getc" statements to stream data to a PC through the ICSP interface. The ICD-U64 serves as the physical interface, bridging the target's programming pins to the host PC's USB port. Users can access the data through CCSLoad or alternatively, a Window's terminal emulation program, DOS command line interface or the SIOW data graphing interface included in the CCC IDE Compilers. Remote internet access is provided via Telnet.

Updated versions of the CCS C compiler, CCSLoad and ICD-U64 firmware are now available online to users wishing to take advantage of this new capability.

To learn more and view a special offer, go to

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Programmer Diagnostics Webinar Series Launched at CCS

Monday 06 June, 2011

CCS, Inc. today announced the addition of a new development tools webinar series focusing on programmer diagnostics on its corporate website. This series enables viewers to learn from CCS embedded development engineers how to quickly resolve programming issues when using CCS development tools and Microchip PIC® MCU and dsPIC® digital signal controller devices.

Organized by programming failure mode, engineers can quickly learn how to resolve programming issues themselves without contacting CCS technical support. Each webinar begins by addressing the most common and easiest to diagnose issues before moving on to more complex scenarios. Currently, there are three training webinars in the series.

- Unable to Detect USB Connected Programmer
- Unable to Detect Serial Connected Programmer
- Unable to Detect Target

The first two webinars address how to eliminate USB and serial port communication failures between the host PC and programmer. In the third webinar, engineers will be shown how to use the diagnostic utilities built into the CCSLoad programmer software to resolve hardware and hookup problems on their boards. These utilities can be used to verify proper power chip voltage levels during programming. They also facilitate the debugging of ICSP circuits by driving constant signals or pulse trains on programming pins so they can be checked with voltmeters and/or oscilloscopes. Varying in length from 4 to 6 minutes, they will provide just the right level of detail to enable engineers and technicians to learn what’s needed to accomplish the task at hand, in the shortest time possible.

To view the webinars, go to

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CCS at Microchip Masters 2011

Tuesday 31 May, 2011

CCS will be presenting the class, "Using the CCS C Compiler for Rapid Development of Microcontroller Applications" at Masters 2011. This hands-on class will instruct users in the most productive use of the CCS optimizing C compiler for all Microchip microcontrollers. Topics to be covered will include:

- Techniques for code reuse and easy migration to new chips

- CCS's API for controlling Microchip PIC® MCU peripherals

- Easily implementing serial I/O (asynchronous, SPI, I2CTM) on any GPIO pin

The hands on portion of the class will use the CCS compiler to allow attendees to see how quick and easy it is to develop applications from scratch. Also during the hands-on portion, attendees will learn the use of the CCS IDE wizards, programming concepts and advanced debugging techniques using the CCS C-Aware real time debugger.

This technical level 4 class will be offered twice at this year's Masters - Wednesday, 8/24 and Thursday 8/25, 1:15pm to 5:15pm on both days. Be sure to add class "1526 CCS" to your schedule. CCS will also be showing our newest WiFi based products in our booth. We hope to see you there.

MPLAB® ICD 2, dsPIC® DSC and PIC®MCU are registered trade marks of Microchip Technology Inc in the U.S.A and other countries.

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