Microchip Technology has expanded their Arduino compatible chipKIT platform ecosystem. This includes the chipKIT Pi Expansion Board, which is a new Raspberry Pi tool that it co-developed with element14. The chipKIT Pi’s advanced features simplify Arduino based application development for the Raspberry Pi.The new expansion board also adds large memory space, fast performance and integrated peripherals for human-interface, audio-processing and advanced-control applications. The chipKIT Pi Expansion Board is priced at $28. Boards are expected to become available in the final week of September.
On the software side, volunteers from the chipKIT and Arduino communities collaborated with Microchip’s engineers to expand the free chipKIT Multi-Platform IDE (MPIDE). This helps developers create, compile and program Arduino sketch-based chipKIT applications within the Raspberry Pi operating system.The chipKIT MPIDE is open source and compatible with the Arduino programming language and development environment.
The chipKIT Pi and MPIDE tools are based on Microchip’s 32-bit PIC32 microcontrollers (MCUs) in prototyping-friendly, low pin count SPDIP packages, which was previously only available with 8-bit MCUs for the Arduino community.This enables hobbyists, academics, makers and professionals to benefit from the PIC32′s high performance, memory and integrated peripherals while using the basic hobbyist prototyping equipment that is found in most home workshops.
The chipKIT Pi Expansion Board is the world’s first to enable the development of 3.3V Arduino compatible applications for the Raspberry Pi using a 32-bit, high-performance MCU in a prototyping-friendly package.Because the Raspberry Pi’s processor is a 3.3V chip, its digital I/O and communications (I2C, UART, SPI) pins require 3.3V.Meaning that existing prototyping-friendly Arduino boards, which are all based on 5V 8-bit MCUs, require users to create or purchase additional components to translate the voltages. The chipKIT Pi can interface directly to the Raspberry Pi I/O Expansion header without any additional components, reducing both cost and design complexity.
In addition to being 3.3V compatible, the chipKIT Pi is also the only Arduino compatible board that brings a 32-bit MCU in a prototyping-friendly package to Raspberry Pi users.Previously, hobbyists, academics, makers and professionals who wanted to develop Arduino applications for the Raspberry Pi using prototyping-friendly, through-hole packages were forced to use boards based on 8-bit MCUs.The chipKIT Pi’s 32-bit PIC32 MCU is in an SPDIP package, so even non-experienced users can easily swap out the pre-populated PIC32 with a new one without having to replace the entire board.
More info: chipKIT Pi