PIC Microcontroller is the best choice to start Embedded Programming.To learn the internal working one can start programming in Assembly language , as PIC has as little as 35 instructions only.But bigger projects can be easily managed using a C Compiler.

Whether you write in Assembly or C ,finally a .HEX file is created.The INTEL hex  generally known as hex file, is a format used to store machine language code in hexadecimal form. It is widely used format to store programs to be transferred to microcontroller’s FLASH ROM.

The process of burning or fusing the HEX file onto the PIC’s Flash Memory (ROM) is called Programming.

Generally a Development platform has its own text editor,Debugger,Compiler & Programmer.

There are 3 major platforms in the market .


index2           Image 1     index


1. Microchip’s MPLAB IDE platform with HITECH C Compiler

2.  PCW IDE with CCS C compiler.

3. MikroElektronika IDE with MikroC pro or MikroBasic.

Every C compiler has its own Header files  & Define statement declarations.You’ve to read the Compiler help file carefully to know the usage of header files & define directives.

In this post we shall use the well known MPLAB IDE

Generally the C Compiler or PIC 10/12/16 family MCUs is different from that of PIC18 or 24 family.Before linking a C compiler with the IDE make sure that it suits for the type of PIC IC you’ve chosen for the project. Full version of C compilers come with a hefty price tag.Students can opt for Lite free versions , with limited code size generation.

with HITECH C Compiler.

To start with collect the following software

1) MPLAB IDE Version 8.92


2) Download HITECH C Compiler supporting Microchip PIC 10/12/16 Controllers

For PIC 18, PIC24,Dspic series of controllers there are different compilers .Respective HITECH C compiler has to be downloaded from & linked to MPLAB IDE.

Following is the screenshot of files collected before starting installation :



MPLAB IDE is the environment to develop .HEX files of your project , which is finally fused on to the PIC Microcontroller. As such MPLAB IDE doesn’t have any C Compiler inbuilt. You’ve to download separately the HITECH C Compiler (Lite version for students, as the compiler is not free) & link its location to MPLAB IDE.

Unzip the downloaded file.

Double click the setup.exe file to start installation of MPLAB IDE.



image     image

Select COMPLETE type of installation  & choose the Destination folder as default.


image     image


Accept the agreement & click Next.


image  image


Click Finish to finalize the installation.A window with all release notes appears.If you want you can view any of the notes, or close it.

Now we shall proceed with the HITECH C Compiler installation.It is a separate installation.

Double Click on  picc_9.83_win.exe file downloaded from






Select “Operate in LITE mode “ which is a free student version with limited capabilities.

Upto 2k size of code is allowed in free version & code optimization is not provided.This results in bigger size of code , compared to that generated by a commercial version.



Accept agreement & do not change  the destination folder.


image    image


Check mark “Add to Environment path “ & click Next.

This action will add the HITECH C compiler path to MPLAB. If you forget to check this box,later from within MPLAB IDE you’ve to select the Language tool path manually.





image    image


Click Finish to complete the installation.

Now open the MPLAB IDE & proceed with Project wizard  to start a new project.

From Project –> Set Language Tool suite you can Link the Hitech C compiler .

Watch the second video for detailed demo



Watch this video to learn how to install the MPLAB IDE version8.92 along with the HITECH C compiler.



For this video my YOUTUBE channel has been suspended .Do you see any thing beyond guidelines or any copyright materials ?

Crazy guys at YouTube.They never bother to answer for their act.


Installation of MPLAB IDE with HITECH C Complier


Continue to read next post on creating the .HEX file from C code.



saravana        se2