Distribution: Microchip Technology development software available via download


Engineers now can purchase Microchip Technology 's embedded-development software via a "software for sale" download capability that reduces cost and increases ease of use. The first products available through microchipDIRECT are the MPLAB C18 and MPLAB C30 C compilers. Derek Carlson, vice president of development tools, said, "We see customers becoming more and more comfortable with the Internet as a vehicle to learn and prepare themselves for their embedded design projects."

Carlson said that although free student editions of the compilers have been available electronically for several quarters, there had been "no way for customers to access the compilers electronically. Certain testing revisions were occasionally provided via personal e-mail or FTP, but this was on an exception basis. The capability we've put in place also provides a means for us to distribute testing revisions to selected customers as needed."

Student edition versions are provided without hard copy documentation. "Our customers have become comfortable referring to the online documentation instead of a book, and so are now more accustomed to the electronic distribution of the material than they've been before," Carlson said. In addition, "since the introduction of student editions, sales of the full editions have increased, as has interest in the training material provided through the Website.

More software products are expected to be added in the future. Microchip also announces its intention to work with third-party software vendors to offer their software tools and libraries for download on microchipDIRECT. "In the future, we would like to extend this downloadable buying option to libraries, third-party software, and other soft intellectual property. As customers required more software in their embedded-solutions toolkits, being able to deliver it electronically was crucial to our ongoing commitment to nimbly and ably provide for their needs," Carlson added.

Renee Robbins , editorial director, Control Engineering

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