The business of iPhone, iPod (and eventually iPad) accessories has become a thriving industry onto its own. And Arizona-based Microchip Technology Inc. is taking aim at the growing pool of accessory developers with a new offering that is getting some attention this week. The folks at Microchip have announced three development kits intended to facilitate the "rapid design" of accessories for the aforementioned Apple devices by taking advantage of Microchip’s inventory of PIC microcontrollers.
The kits serve up examples of digital sound systems, docking stations, and a variety of additional accessories for the the iPod and iPhone. Mitch Obolsky, VP of Microchip’s Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division, says his company's kits will make it possible for accessory makers and designers to dream up awesome products and get them to consumers promptly.
Accessory designers who opt to use the tools can take advantage of Microchip's "expansive portfolio" of more than 650 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers. According to the company's official statement when the kits were unveiled, the PIC MCU family alluded to "includes low-power nanoWatt XLP Technology, enabling longer battery life." Best of all, and most conducive to creative accessory development, a smorgasbord of "integrated analogue and digital peripherals" make possible the design of highly innovative and differentiated accessories.
Microchip says it also provides clients with a free license software library to support the development of iPod and iPhone accessories. Naturally, the aforementioned library helps designers interface their application with a particular mobile device, a convenience that can drastically reduce the time it takes to introduce a final product into the accessory marketplace.