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Pinguino is an Arduino-like electronics prototyping platform. It supports different 8- and 32-bit ©Microchip microcontrollers, all with built-in USB module (no FTDI chip !).
Pinguino comes with a USB Bootloader. This small program running inside the microcontroller is responsible for transferring your application from your PC to the microcontroller memory and handing over the control to this program afterwards.
No programmer is needed(*), the microcontroller can be reprogrammed over USB with a PC.
(*) except the first time for DIYers; commercial boards always provide microcontroller flashed with bootloader.
Pinguino boards can be used of different ways depending on your skills :
Pinguino is an Integrated Development Environement (IDE) which gives everyone the ability to write, compile and upload programs on a Pinguino board.
Pinguino's Language is an Arduino-like or Arduino-influenced rather than Arduino-compatible Language. Users can use the same keywords but can not include Arduino's libraries in their code. Adapted libraries are listed here.
It makes you write easily your application without spending hours learning pragma, configuration bits or command line compiler.
Pinguino's IDE, libraries and compilers are all available for GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.