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What is a programming environment? It is a simplified application that provides an interface for microcontroller (MCU) production programmers that allows a technician to easily load, program and verify software and avoid the complexities of full-featured Integrated Development Environments (IDEs).

MPLAB Integrated Programming Environment (IPE) provides this type of solution. It is a simple interface that provides quick access to key production programming features. MPLAB IPE has a technician-level user interface for use on the manufacturing floor and provides production programming capabilities for all Microchip programmers and products supported by MPLAB X Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

MPLAB IPE operates in two modes: 

  • In Advanced Mode, an engineer can set the power levels, memory regions to program, environment, Serialized Quick-Turn Programming (SQTP) settings, permissions in production mode, access to the MPLAB PICkit™ 4 Programmer-to-Go feature and programming speed for the MPLAB PICkit 4 and MPLAB ICD 4 programmers/debuggers. 
  • In Production Mode, technicians can program devices set by the engineer, view memory and power settings, read device ID, import hex files, environments and SQTP files, etc., as allowed by permission settings.

MPLAB IPE also supports MPLAB IPECMD, a script-based interface without a Graphical User Interface (GUI), that can be used to automate the production programming process. For details, refer to the IPECMD readme in the MPLAB X IDE documentation folder.

MPLAB IPE Features

  • Support for two modes: Advanced and Production
  • Import and export of HEX files
  • Import of environments
  • Import an SQTP number file for unique device serialization
  • Docking/undocking of windows
  • Capability of adding functionality via plugins
  • Support for MPLAB IPECMD for production programming scripts

MPLAB® Integrated Programming Environment (IPE)