DsPIC30F 5011 Development Board

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This project aims to provide the development tools for building a multi-purpose MCU board. Description is based on Microchip dsPic33FJ256GP506 (was dsPic30F5011), but information provided in this wiki may give useful directions for developing similar embedded systems with different platforms.


Features of dsPic33FJ256GP506

  • 3.0 to 3.3 V
  • Up to 40 MIPs
  • Maximum current sink/source for I/O pins: 4 mA
  • 16-bit arithmetics
  • DSP Instruction Set
  • Dual programming techniques: ICSP and RTSP
  • Memory
    • 256 KB flash (86K instructions)
    • 16 KB RAM (incl. 2 KB DMA RAM)
    • No EEPROM
  • Communications ports
    • UART
    • I2C: up to 1 Mbit/s
    • SPI
  • ADC
  • 10-bit A/D, 1.1 Msps
  • 12-bit A/D, 500 ksps
  • No DAC (PWMs only)
  • Pin-to-pin compatible with other dsPICs
Comparison between different dsPICs
dsPic *Price
MIPs Flash
IC OC Motor
33FJ256GP506 6.11 40 256 16 0 53 18 8 8 0 9x16bit
0 2 2 2 1 1
33FJ128GP206 4.62 40 128 8 0 53 18 8 8 0 9x16bit
0 2 2 1 0 1
33FJ128GP306 4.81 40 128 16 0 53 18 8 8 0 9x16bit
0 2 2 2 0 1
33FJ128GP706 5.49 40 128 16 0 53 18 8 8 0 9x16bit
0 2 2 2 2 1
33FJ128MC506 4.97 40 128 8 0 53 16 8 8 8 9x16bit
1 2 2 2 1 0
33FJ128MC706 5.38 40 128 16 0 53 16 8 8 8 9x16bit
1 2 2 2 1 0

*For reference only, subject to change


  • Microchip: Official forum by Microchip
    • See MPLAB ICD 2, MPLAB IDE, MPLAB C30 Compiler, ASM30, Link30 forum, dsPIC30F Topics, dsPic33 topics
  • HI-TECH Software Forum: Discussion on dsPICC, a C compiler developed by HI-TECH
  • FreeRTOS Real Time Kernel: Open Discussion and Support on FreeRTOS
  • Nabble: MicroControllers - GNUPIC


Code Examples

Related Development

Programming Methods

  • There are 2 programming methods: In-Circuit Serial Programming (ICSP) and Run-Time Self-Programming (RTSP)
  • ICSP allows the devices to be programmed after being placed in a circuit board.
  • RTSP allows the devices to be programmed when an embedded program is already in operation.

ICSP: External Programmer (ICD2)

  • Two types of ICSP are available: ICSP and Enhanced ICSP. Both of them require setting MCLR# to VIHH (9V – 13.25V).
  • Standard ICSP
    • Use external programmer (e.g. MPLAB® ICD 2, MPLAB® PM3 or PRO MATE® II) only.
    • Required low-level programming to erase, program and verify the chip.
    • Slower, because codes are serially executed.
  • Enhanced ICSP
    • Use external programmer and Programming Executive (PE).
    • PE is stored in the on-chip memory.
    • PE allows faster programming.
    • PE can be downloaded to the chip by external programmer using the standard ICSP method.
    • PE contains a small command set to erase, program and verify the chip, avoiding the need of low-level programming.

Hardware Interface

Pin Used by ICSP
Pin Label Function Pin Number
MCLR# Programming Enable 7
VDD Power Supply 10, 26, 38, 57
VSS Ground 9, 25, 41, 56
PGC Serial Clock 17
PGD Serial Data 18

Available Programmers in the Market
Product Name Interface with PC Interface with Device *Price (US) Remarks
MPLAB® ICD 2 USB or RS232 6-PIN RJ-12 connector $159.99 -
Clone Microchip ICD2 (Now Using) USB 6-pin flat cables $52.35 Do not work with new MPLAB versions (works for 7.50), communication to MPLAB may sometime hang (see manual)

*For reference only (exclude shipping), subject to change

DIY ICD 2 Programmer Circuit
Source Schematic PIC16F877A Bootloader
Patrick Touzet Yes HEX
Nebadje Yes Zip

Software Interface

  • The program can be written and compiled in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) using either Assembly or C. The complied codes are then loaded to the device through the external programmer.
Summary of IDE
Product Name Features OS Price (US$)
MPLAB® IDE Assembler Only Windows Free
MPLAB® C30 Assembler and C-Compiler Windows $895.00 (Free student version1)
Piklab Assembler and C-Compiler Linux Free
  1. Full-featured for the first 60 days. After 60 days, some code optimization functions are disabled. The compiler will continue to function after 60 days, but code size may increase.

RTSP: COM Port (Bootloader)

  • RTSP works in normal voltage (MCLR# no need to raise to VIHH).
  • No literature has mentioned the incorporation of Programming Executive (PE). Presumably, since Enhanced ICSP needs to set MCLR# to VIHH, RTSP cannot use PE.
  • Refer to bootloader section.

Development Environment


PIC setup win.JPG

  • C-Compiler, Assembler and Linker are under GNU license.
    • MPLAB C30 C Compiler (*.c -> *.s)
    • MPLAB ASM30 Assembler (*.s -> *.o)
    • MPLAB LINK30 Linker (*.o -> *.bin)
  • PA optimizer, simulator, runtime libraries, header files, include files, and linker scripts are not covered by GNU. Reference is here.
  • Microchip has integrated ASM30, LINK30, assembly header files, linker scripts in MPLAB IDE, which is free for download.
  • MPLAB C30 costs US$895. A 60-day free student version is also available. After 60-days, the optimizer is automatically disabled, while other tools can still function properly.

C Libraries in MPLAB C30
Library Directory
(\\Microchip\MPLAB C30)
Major functions
DSP Library
(e.g. libdsp-coff.a)
Vector, Matrix, Filter, etc.
16-Bit Peripheral Libraries \lib
ADC12, IOPort, UART, I2C, etc.
Standard C Libraries
(e.g. libc-coff.a, libm-coff.a, libpic-coff.a)
stdio.h, time.h, float.h, math.h,
MPLAB C30 Built-in Functions none _buildin_addab, _buildin_add, _buildinmpy, etc


PIC setup linux.JPG

  • C Compiler, Assembler and Linker are under GNU license.
    • The code can be downloaded from Microchip at here.
    • Current MPLAB ASM30 Assembler: v2.04
    • Current MPLAB C30 Compiler: v2.04
  • Important Note: Only the compiler is free. The header files and library are owned by Microchip.
Pic30 C-Compiler Toolchain Templates for Conversion to Debian-based systems
Toolchain Source Instruction Remarks
v2.00 Download pic30-gcc-2.00-1.i386.rpm and pic30-binutils-2.00-1.i386.rpm.
Convert to deb files.
Now using
v2.05 Reference to example below, but use 2.05 files Can compile
Stable but not heavily tested
v3.01 Follow example below Can compile
Unstable (sometime produce segmentation fault)
v3.10 Reference to example below, but use 3.10 files Cannot compile yet (segmentation fault)

Conversion Example

  • Pre-install these packages: dpkg-dev, debhelper, bison, flex, sysutils, gcc-3.3, fakeroot
    • cmd: sudo apt-get install dpkg-dev debhelper bison flex sysutils gcc-3.3 fakeroot
  • Download and unzip template: pic30-3.01.tar.bz2
  • Download assembler: mplabalc30v3_01_A.tar.gz. Save under /pic30-3.01/pic30-binutils-3.01/upstream/
  • Download c-compiler: mplabc30v3_01_A.tgz. Save under /pic30-3.01/pic30-gcc-3.01/upstream/
  • Install MPLAB_C30_v3_01-StudentEdition under Windows
  • Copy directories /include, /lib, /support, and /bin/c30_device.info to pic30-3.01/pic30-support-3.01/upstream/
  • Pack pic30-binutils into deb file
    • goto /pic30-3.01/pic30-binutils-3.01/
    • type cmd: dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b
  • Install pic30-binutils_3.01-1_i386.deb
    • type cmd: sudo dpkg -i pic30-binutils_3.01-1_i386.deb
  • Pack pic30-gcc-3.01 into deb file
    • goto /pic30-3.01/pic30-gcc-3.01/
    • type cmd: dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b
  • Install pic30-gcc_3.01-1_i386.deb
    • type cmd: sudo dpkg -i pic30-gcc_3.01-1_i386.deb
  • Pack support files into deb file
    • goto /pic30-3.01/pic30-support-3.01/
    • type cmd: dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot -b
  • Install pic30-support_3.01-1_all.deb
    • type cmd: sudo dpkg -i pic30-support_3.01-1_all.deb
  • After installation, locations of
    • C-Header (*.h): /usr/pic30-elf/include
    • Libraries (*.a): /usr/pic30-elf/lib
    • Assembly header (*.inc): /usr/share/pic30-support/inc
    • Linkerscript (*.gld): /usr/share/pic30-support/gld

Burning Program Codes to Target Board

  1. Use 'dspicprg and dspicdmp' utilities developed by Homer Reid to burn hex code (*.hex) to devices. See Reference here. Through serial port only?
  2. Use Piklab IDE. Details on file format not known.
  3. Use MPLAB IDE to burn hex code (*.hex) to devices.

Code Optimization

  • Below is a comparsion between different optimization levels for the project including drivers for 2 projects.
Comparison between differnt optimization levels
Optimization Description Project 1
Code Size
Project 1
Data Usage
Project 2
Code Size
Project 2
Data Usage
O0 No optimization
Fastest Compilation
6222 (9%) 178 (4%) 26,037 (38%) 710 (17%)
O1 Optimize
Tries to reduce code size and execution time.
4473 (6%) 178 (4%) 22,290 (32%) 710 (17%)
O2 Optimize even more
Performs nearly all supported optimizations
that do not involve a space-speed trade-off.
Increases both compilation time and the
performance of the generated code.
4422 (6%) 178 (4%) 21,993 (32%) 710 (17%)
O3 Optimize yet more.
O3 turns on all optimizations specified by O2
and also turns on the inline-functions option.
4485 (6%) 178 (4%) 22,176 (32%) 710 (17%)
Os Optimize for size.
Os enables all O2 optimizations that do not
typically increase code size. It also performs
further optimizations designed to reduce code
4356 (6%) 178 (4%) 21,885 (32%) 710 (17%)

Driver Development

  • Description on developing drivers with POSIX API

Bootloader Development

  • Description on concepts and development on bootloader
  • Description on dsPicProgrammer to download firmware via bootloader

Programming the Device

  • Description on how to use dsPicProgrammer to download firmware to dspic