The CCS C compilers are a great tool for programming Microchip PIC® microcontrollers however, there is not a version of the compiler available for use on macOS. Despite this, there is a way for Mac users to utilize the CCS C compilers by using a virtual machine. A virtual machine is like a fully functioning computer but it is running in software on a host computer. By using a virtual machine, a macOS user can run a Windows 10 computer from their Mac. This allows the CCS C compilers to be run on a macOS computer.
There is an article on the CCS website that includes a step-by-step guide to using CCS C compilers on macOS (a link to this guide is at the end of this article). The article walks through installing and editing a driver created by FTDI which allows a Mac machine to communicate with the ICD that is used when programming/debugging MCUs. In the guide, it is recommended to use a free app called Xcode that is available on the app store, which makes editing the driver easier and more user friendly.
After the driver from FTDI is installed, the guide outlines how to create a virtual machine on a Mac computer. It starts with installing VirtualBox, a virtualization tool that allows for the creation and management of a virtual machine. The guide walks through how to create a virtual machine through VirtualBox, as well as how to download an ISO image of Windows 10 so the operating system can be installed on the virtual machine.
Once a virtual machine has been created and an ISO image has been attached to it, the machine can be booted and the Windows 10 installation process begins. The guide provides steps to format the virtual hard drive that is used by the virtual machine so that the files for Windows 10 can be copied over correctly and installed. After the OS is installed, the user can follow the Windows 10 setup and enter their own preferences.
The final step outlined in the guide is setting up the Windows 10 environment so that it can run the CCS software. This includes installing USB drivers from CCS so that the virtual machine can detect the ICD when it is passed through from macOS. The guide also outlines creating a shared folder between the host macOS machine and the Windows 10 virtual machine. Creating a shared folder allows for the CCS C compiler installation files to be transferred to the VM so the software can be installed. Once you have completed the step-by-step guide to using CCS C compilers on macOS, you will be able to program Microchip PIC® MCUs without the use of a Windows computer.
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CCS is a leading worldwide supplier of embedded software development tools that enable companies to develop premium products based on Microchip PIC® MCU and dsPIC® DSC devices. Complete proven tool chains from CCS include a code optimizing C compiler, application specific hardware platforms and software development kits. CCS' products accelerate development of energy saving industrial automation, wireless and wired communication, automotive, medical device and consumer product applications. Established in 1992, CCS is a Microchip Premier 3rd Party Partner. For more information, please visit https://www.ccsinfo.com.
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