For those of you with a chipKIT board, I have good news! If you like using the Arduino IDE instead of MPIDE, your dreams have become a reality with chipKIT-core (currently in beta). You can now program all of the chipKIT boards directly from within the Arduino IDE and the most-used libraries included with the chipKIT platform have already been updated to be compatible with the Arduino 1.6.x.
**UPDATE** chipKIT core has been updated to work with Arduino 1.6.7 and later! Check out this Digilent blog post for updated instructions on how to install chipKIT core!
Step 1: Install the Arduino IDE
First, we need to install the Arduino IDE. As of 12/11/2015, chipKIT-core only works on Arduino version 1.6.5 (not 1.6.6) but this should be fixed soon. Head to this page to grab 1.6.5 and click on the corresponding installer for your OS.
Once the download is finished, follow the on-screen instructions to install.
When the install completes, go ahead and open up the Arduino IDE so it can generate some files in your documents folder. Close it once it opens and move on to the next step!
Step 2: Install ChipKIT Core
First, head over to the chipKIT core Wiki where they keep the current information on the chipKIT core project.
There are three methods to install chipKIT core all with instructions on the Wiki. In this case, I'll be going over the manual installation process.
Scroll down to the test builds section and download the most recent version for your OS.
While that is downloading, head over to your documents folder (usually C:\Users\Name\Documents on Windows). Open the Arduino folder and you should see one folder called libraries. Create a new folder in the main Arduino directory called hardware. Check out the picture above to make sure you made it in the correct directory.
Use a program like WinRAR to extract the chipKIT core folder and all of its contents to the hardware folder you just created.
Make sure you extracted correctly by heading to the hardware folder and making sure that the folders are correct. It should be Arduino\hardware\chipkit-core\pic32\ with more contents in that folder.
Step 3: Test It Out!
Now that we are done installing chipKIT core, open the Arduino IDE. Under Tools -> Board you should now see a whole chipKIT section with most if not all of the chipKIT boards! Select the chipKIT board you are using and you are ready to go. Check out the blink example above or do it yourself by going to file -> examples -> basics -> blink.
Let me know if you have any questions and stay tuned on the chipKIT core Wiki for coming updates.