Answered: Programming with options like MPLAB?

I’ve heard that programming options like MPLAB and OpenVex do not support the newer Cortex, and only had support for PIC.

What are the differences between Cortex and PIC? Both as far as programming/robot-building opportunities go, and on the technical side (how has it actually changed, other than switching to VEXnet)?

Also, will options similar to MPLAB ever be available on the Cortex? And how did options like ROBOTC and EasyC migrate to Cortex? How did they become the developers of IDEs/compilers for VEX in the first place?

**The capabilities of the Cortex and PIC microcontrollers are listed on their product pages. The primary Cortex improvements are a faster processor, I2C port, additional UART port, two 2-wire motor ports, and a backup battery input to protect against communication brown outs during competitions. The Cortex dedicates (8) analog and (12) digital ports while the (16) PIC ports are assignable as digital or analog.

Since MPLAB is made by Microchip, it will not support a processor made by a different company – the Cortex uses the STMicroelectronics ARM processor. ROBOTC and easyC saw a market for their product and produced VEX compatible products and became our “software partners”.**