Microchip responds!


Marc from Microchip writes…

We (Microchip) read your blog and comments, and we do agree with you. Though we are a corporation, with a lot of suits (not really, actually I think we have a policy against suits), we know the community has been and is a large part of why Microchip successful today. We put our best code forward, but we know it has usage limitations. Clearly this is an area where we can do better. The points made in the blog are important, so we set up a meeting with our management team yesterday, and both our CEO and COO joined us because they too thought it was important. Really, we weren’t just playing Frisbee golf as you might have thought. We understand why you guys are upset and this is an issue we need to address. Bottom line, we can’t release our existing stacks because we have contractual obligations to many of our customers that prevent us from making them open source.

So how about this: We offer a prize for anyone who writes these stacks for the community. To get started, the two that we want to target are the TCP/IP and USB stacks. Heck, who better to write these than the experts in the community…? The goal is that the entries would be compatible with the chipKit MAX32 (PIC32MX795F512L). Digilent Inc. will help us decide which stack first meets the requirements. For our part, we will pony up the prize and provide technical support for those who want to get involved.

Thanks for all your posts and I’ll follow up with additional details shortly.

This is in response to the Ian’s article at Dangerous Prototypes “Editorial: Our friend Microchip and open source”….

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in! adafruit.com/mastodon

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !


  1. This is definitely a step in the right direction. Crowd sourcing the development of these stacks should make quick work of getting something working.

  2. Interesting, at least they’ve responded to the query. My new query is, if the prize is just going to be a ChipKIT (Note: I’m only guessing at this stage), why would you develop the stacks for them apart from recognition for doing it if you already own the ChipKit.

    I’d also ask if there is separate prizes for the USB and the TCP/IP stacks? Or are they wanting solutions from both from a single developer.

    Regardless, this is both good and bad news for the ChipKIT being 100% open source, (bad news in terms of needing to wait until someone has a viable stack for open source work).

  3. Well recognition is obviously a pretty useful thing, but it is a pretty big endeavor, hopefully they do something slightly larger then a kit or two. Not to be greedy by any means, a lot of people work on this sort of thing do want the recognition. But they are bigger projects, perhaps team prizes could be worked out. Bonus is that a community on the projects themselves can be created to maintain and continue development.

    I like their response though, and the fact it was quick. I also understand that they have business interests and deals that don’t allow them to just give away everything

  4. It should be easy to just write a driver for IwIP.


  5. Wanted to follow up on the previous post. I’ve posted this to Dangerous Prototypes and Hackaday. I’ve been spending the day going back and forth over some of the logistics of the competition (want to keep it fair and all) but have some preliminary news for you. Prizes look like they’ll be around $1000 for each stack developed/ported and that’s in your pocket. We’ll gross up the amount to cover the taxes. I spoke with our Development Tools team and they have 10 chipKIT MAX32 boards and Network Shields that they’ll donate to the first 10 people to sign up. Once all of the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted on the rules and regs, I’ll post them on a “contest” site along with the email address to get the free boards.

    By the way…the resistor “human verification system” is pretty cool:)

  6. Hey Everyone:

    Ok…the contest page is finally up at http://www.microchip.com/stacks/. The submission email address is [email protected]. If you have any difficulties whatsoever, just post here and I’ll keep an eye on the blog. As for the 10 kits we have to give away, I kind of like the idea that the first 10 submissions will each get a kit. If anyone has any objections to this we can certainly modify this requirement based on suggestions. Nothing’s set in stone for that portion of the contest. Anyhoo…good luck!!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.