MU Alpha


MU Alpha is a Real-Time In-Circuit Emulator for the most popular 18-pin and 8-pin Microchip PIC® microcontrollers. It offers many professional level features for a very low price. It is designed to multiply your productivity and comfort in the development of PIC applications.

Extremely flexibile

  • The emulator is based on the state-of-the-art programmable gate arrays. This solution is far more flexible and offers more functionality than the "traditional" one, based on bond-out chips specially manufactured.
  • The target device type, clock frequency, oscillator type, reset, watchdog and many other parameters are software selectable, with no confusing jumper settings or interchangeable oscillator modules. The user only needs to connect the target probe for 18-pin or 8-pin devices.
  • An internal clock frequency synthesizer provides the clock in the range from 25 kHz to 20 MHz (full speed of emulated devices). The user can select among four oscillator modes: crystal, RC with CLKOUT equal to Fosc/4, external clock up to 10 MHz, or external RC oscillator.
  • Target application independent functionality: the emulator can be used even without a target system (which allows to test internal routines independently of application), like a "real-time hardware simulator".

Really non-intrusive

All device resources are available for the user's application. Nothing is used by the emulator hardware or software. MU Alpha offers excellent device resource accessibility even when running at full application speed, so you do not have to stop the real-time run to watch and modify the device registers.

Low voltage support

Low voltage applications? No problem with MU Alpha. Target application supply voltage can be as low as 2 V and your emulator will still work fine. No obvious 5 V only limitations.

Extensive break logic options

Unlimited number of breakpoints anywhere in the code memory (activated BEFORE instruction execution). Many other break conditions are available: file register breaks in data memory, Timer0 overflow, Trace buffer overflow, Watchdog timer overflow, Stack overflow/underflow, Break on external probe (Trigger In).

Any many other...

32-bit instruction cycle counter - stopwatch - with overflow detection accurately counts active cycles both in Run or Step modes. The time is displayed in cycles and in microseconds. A second - differential - counter is implemented in software.

Flexibility of emulator circuitry allows software upgrades (e.g. via Internet) of the emulator hardware and even custom modifications to accomodate any user need.

Trace memory 256 instructions deep, tracing is fully user selectable for arbitrary (even discontinuous) locations and areas.

Default device socket is DIP, SMD headers can be ordered as an option.

MU Alpha

More images:
 Large image
 Inside the box
 Alpha and the target probe
 Alpha with cables

Supported devices

  • PIC16F84/84A (20 MHz)
  • PIC12C508A
  • PIC12C509A
  • PIC16C54C
  • PIC16C56A
  • PIC16C58B (limited to 1 Kword of program memory)


  • Non-compromised background debugging, all device resources are user available
  • Target application power supply from 2 to 5.5V
  • Software selectable oscillator frequency and other flexible clock options
  • Target application independent functionality ("hardware simulator" mode)
  • Extensive break logic possibilities
  • Flexible reset options
  • True HALT state
  • Trigger In and Trigger Out
  • 32-bit instruction stopwatch
  • Flexible watchdog setting
  • Off-line mode
  • Well-arranged LED mode indication
  • Reconfigurable hardware
  • Trace memory, conditional trace
  • Compact mechanical construction
  • Fast PC interface via parallel port


  • Emulator
  • Power supply
  • PC connection cable
  • Target probe for 8-pin devices
  • Target probe for 18-pin devices
  • Target I/O protector
  • Software (floppy or CD-ROM)
  • User's Manual




MU Alpha datasheet (PDF format, 339 kB)

Complete help for MU Alpha, MU Beta and IDEA software (CHM = Compiled HTML format)


IDEA is the Integrated Development Environment for ASIX In-Circuit Emulators. It runs under Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2K/XP. IDEA has its own download page where you can find the documentation and installation files.

An older DOS software (ARTEMIS) is available upon request.

© ASIX s.r.o., 1991-2012. All rights reserved.