You have a few different options for code to run on the chipKIT VI:

  • Use binary firmware from an automaker - these are usually intended for application developers that are only interested in the translated data. You probably want this option!
  • Advanced: Compile the the official OpenXC VI firmware (the source for most binary firmware, e.g. those from Ford). This is the best option if you have your own CAN messages you want to support.
  • Expert: Build your own code to run on the VI. The chipKIT is a very capable prototyping platform - we recommend looking at Digilent's Getting Started Guide for an introduction to writing completely custom code for the chipKIT. If you want to use some of the more advanced libraries that the VI firmware

For actually programming code onto the chipKIT (what we call "flashing firmware"), the chipKIT comes with a bootloader that allows you to re-program it via the mini-USB port using avrdude - see the instructions on flashing.