The Integrated Programming Environment (IPE) is a stand-alone software application that provides a simple interface to quickly access key programmer features. The IPE application comes with advanced programming features and provides a secure programming environment for production programming.
The IPE is a multi-platform application meaning that it can be run independently of the IDE. The IPE is dedicated to the task of programming Microchip PIC devices. It offers more programming features than the IDE, especially for production programming. Since it only deals with programming, it is a small, responsive, and fast application. The IPE works with the Microchip PICkit™ 3, ICD3, and REAL ICE programmer/debuggers. The IPE is contained within the MPLAB® X IDE package, so once you install MPLAB® X IDE, the IPE application installed along with it.
In the next few modules, we'll first look at the installation and software requirements of the IPE; then we'll review use of the IPE to perform simple tasks, such as programming a device using a HEX file.
The IPE uses the MDB (Microchip Debugger) Core and MPLAB® X IDE framework to provide all the programming capabilities for all Microchip programmers. The Microchip IPE user's guide can be downloaded here. In the next module, we will focus on the software requirements of the IPE.