Tutorial: IAR + FreeRTOS + Freedom Board


Maybe Eclipse is ‘too much’, and you are looking for something different? The cool thing with Processor Expert is that while this is Eclipse based, you can use it easily with other tool chains like IAR Embedded Workbench. So you have the choice, and I have explored things a little with porting FreeRTOS for Cortex-M0+ to IAR :-).

IAR Embedded Workbench with FreeRTOS

IAR Embedded Workbench with FreeRTOS

In this tutorial I’m showing how use IAR with FreeRTOS and the Freedom FRDM-KL25Z Board, using Processor Expert components.

All what you need is the IAR Embedded Workbench, the Processor Expert Driver Suite and components, plus the FRDM-KL25Z board (or any other Kinetis-L (ARM Cortex-M0+) board.

We will need three software packages:

  1. Processor Expert Driver Suite: here we will generate the code from components.
  2. Additional Processor Expert components: we are using more open source components to generate code for the RTOS and drivers.
  3. IAR Embedded Workbench: here we will compile and debug, and using the files created by Processor Expert

IAR Embedded Workbench IDE

The IAR IDE is well-known and respected in the industry, and supports many processor families. That IDE does not offer all the bells and whistles as Eclipse. But it has the advantage to have a real good compiler (better than gcc) and as well the debugger is faster than Eclipse. IAR offers a 32Kbyte limited version of their toolchain for ARM/Kinetis, and I’m using that version (IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM, V6.50.2.4585) in this tutorial.

Download the IAR Embedded Workbench for Freescale/ARM and run the setup.

Processor Expert Software: Microcontroller Driver Suite

To work with other tools than CodeWarrior, there is a special ‘Microcontroller Driver Suite‘ of Processor Expert, called ‘Processor Expert Software – Microcontroller Driver Suite‘. Basically this is a standalone version of Processor Expert in Eclipse, either bundled with Eclipse or as plugin into an existing Eclipse installation. To keep things simple, I recommend to download and install the bundle version. While it would be technically possible to use the generated code from the CodeWarrior version, I’m using the ‘bundle version':

Microcontrollers Driver Suite

Microcontrollers Driver Suite Download Page

Run the setup after downloading.

Additional Processor Expert Components

For this tutorial, I’m using three open source Processor Expert components (sources and latest and greatest versions are available on GitHub). Download the three components from the following links (with version information of them what I used here):

  • LED: a component for LED’s (V1.049)
  • Utility: General string manipulation and utility functions, used by the FreeRTOS (V1.083)
  • FreeRTOS: the RTOS as Embedded Component (V1.203)

Installing added Processor Expert Components into Driver Suite

Run the Driver Suite (for me this is C:\Freescale\PExDrv v10.0\eclipse\eclipse.exe):

Processor Expert Startup Splash Screen

Processor Expert Driver Suite Startup Splash Screen

It will ask you for a workspace folder where to store the project: go with the default or create a new folder:

Selecting Workspace

Selecting Workspace

For a new workspace it shows a welcome screen view (which you can close), so you have the ‘normal’ Eclipse layout:

Processor Expert IDE

Processor Expert IDE

Disabling Code Analysis

The Processor Driver Suite Eclipse version comes with a great Eclipse feature: Code Analysis (see this post). The problem is: how the Processor Expert Driver Suite is set up and configured, it only leads to bogus errors. So the best way is to simply diable it :-(: For this, I use the menu Window > Preferences > C/C++ > Code Analysis and disable all options:

Disabled Code Analysis

Disabled Code Analysis

Installing Components

Next I’m going to install the components with the menu Processor Expert > Import Package:

Import Package

Import Package

In the dialog, select all the components downloaded:

Components to Import

Components to Import

Next, to show all the Processor Expert views:

Show Views

Show Views

:?: CodeWarrior uses ‘C:\ProgramData\Processor Expert\CWMCU_PE5_00′ to store the components, while the Driver Suites uses ‘C:\ProgramData\Processor Expert\PEXDRV_PE5_3′. This means if running CodeWarrior and the Drivers Suite in parallel, the components are not shared and needs to be duplicated or kept in sync. I’m using a File/Directory synchronization utility to keep the components in sync.

As we have loaded new components, I need to refresh the Library:

Refresh Components

Refresh Components

In the Components Library view the three added components should show up:

Components in Library

Components in Library

:idea: In case the components are not shown: use the ‘Refresh’ context menu in the view to refresh it again.

Creating Project

With the menu File > New > Processor Expert Project I launch a wizard to create a new project. First I give the project a name:

Specifying Project Name

Specifying Project Name

Next, to select the Device:

Selecting Device

Selecting Device

In the next dialog I can go with the defaults:

Rapid Application Development

Rapid Application Development

Next I’m selecting the compiler:

IAR Compiler Selection

IAR Compiler Selection

Time to press Finish! This creates the project:

Created Project

Created Project

Using Components

Time to add the FreeRTOS component to the project:

Adding FreeRTOS Component

Adding FreeRTOS Component

Note: the Utility component is added automatically to the project. If not, a dialog box will ask to confirm this.

Now I need to configure the RTOS tick timer:

  1. Counter: SYST_CVR (ARM SysTick)
  2. Counter Direction: Down

:idea: Update: the latest FreeRTOS component makes this step much easier, see this post.

For the Counter Frequency, I click on the … button:

Counter Frequency

Counter Frequency

In the Timing dialog, I deselect the Auto select timing and double-click on the Value on the right side to use it as Init. value:

Timing Dialog

Pressing OK, and now the tick timer is ready to go:

TickCounter setup

TickCounter setup

Adding an LED

In the FreeRTOS task (to be created), I want to blink the Red LED. For this, I add the LED component to the project:

Adding LED component

Adding LED component

The Red part of the RGB LED is connected to the pin TSI0_CH11/PTB18/TPM2_CH0 on the KL25Z processor:

Selecting LED pin

Selecting LED pin

Generating Code

With this I, I have all my drivers set up. Time to generate code! For this, I press this small button:

Generate code

Generate code

The generated code will be inside the ‘Generated_Code’ subfolder of the project.

Writing the Application Code

The application main() is inside the ProcessorExpert.c file:

Main Application Entry Point

Main Application Entry Point

Above main() I’m adding a simple FreeRTOS task to blink the LED:

static portTASK_FUNCTION(MyTask, pvParameters) {
  (void)pvParameters; /* not used */
  for(;;) {
    LED1_Neg();
    FRTOS1_vTaskDelay(1000/portTICK_RATE_MS);
  }
}

The code to create the task is added to main():

if (FRTOS1_xTaskCreate(MyTask, (signed portCHAR *)"Task", configMINIMAL_STACK_SIZE, NULL, tskIDLE_PRIORITY, NULL) != pdPASS) {
  for(;;){} /* error */
}

So it looks like this:

Added Code

Added Code

The next steps are how to build and debug what we have created.

Creating the IAR Project

Now we can launch the IAR Embedded Workbench:

IAR Embedded Workbench Startup Splash

IAR Embedded Workbench Startup Splash

:idea: I usually keep the Processor Expert IDE open, so I can do adjustments as needed, for example regenerate code with changed components.

This brings up the IAR IDE Main Window:

IAR IDE Main Window

IAR IDE Main Window

Creating an Empty Project as Base

First, I’m going to create a new project:

Create New Project

Create New Project

This will be an Empty Project:

Empty Project

Empty Project

Then it asks me where to save the project file:

:idea: I’m free where to save the project file. But if I save it where I have created the above Processor Expert Driver Suite project, the path setup later on will be *much* simpler. So I recommend to store the *.ewp file in the project folder of the Processor Expert project.

Project File Location

Project File Location

Pressing ok, and the IAR project gets created.

:!: If asked by the IAR Embedded Workbench to save the workspace: save the workspace file as well inside the Processor Expert Driver Suite project folder. Otherwise you need to set up additional paths and this will complicate things!

Enable Project Connection

The IAR Embedded Workbench V6.50 comes with the ability to semi-automate project creation with a Processor Expert Project. For this I have to enable this in the Tools > Options menu:

Tools Options Menu

Tools Options Menu

And in the Project settings the ‘Enable project connections’ has to be enabled:

Enabled Project Connections

Enabled Project Connections

With this it very much will simplify the project setup.

Connecting to the Processor Expert Project

To connect to the Processor Expert project, I use the ‘Add Project Connection…’ entry:

Add Project Connection

Add Project Connection

This asks me the connection kind:

Add Project Connection Dialog

Add Project Connection Dialog

Then I select the ProjectInfo.xml file in the Processor Expert project root:

ProjectInfo.xml

ProjectInfo.xml

This adds the Processor Expert files to my project:

Project populated

Project populated

Configuring the Project Settings

:idea: Update: the IAR v6.7 configures automatically the microcontroller, linker file and path settings, see this post.

Finally, the settings need to be set up correctly for the project using the Project Options:

Project Options Context Menu

Project Options Context Menu

Target Device

:idea: Update: the IAR v6.7 configures automatically the microcontroller, see this post.

First, the device needs to be selected:

Selected Device

Selected Device

Debugger Settings

I’m going to use the OpenSDA on the FRDM-KL25Z board, so I set the debugger to P&E:

PnE Debugger

P&E Debugger

As I want to download and debug in Flash, I need to set the flash loader option:

Download Option

Download Option

And finally: It needs to know that I’m using OpenSDA:

OpenSDA Option

OpenSDA Option

:!: Make sure that SWD is selected for SWD targets (e.g. for FRDM-KL25Z)

Build

Time to build/make the project:

Make button in toolbar

Make button in toolbar

:idea: IAR Embedded Workbench uses its own linker file. Processor Expert has one created too. In the project settings you can overwrite the default in the Linker Config settings.

:idea: Update: the IAR v6.7 configures automatically linker file, see this post.

Building the project should now complete with no errors:

Build finished

Build finished

:!: There are a few warnings produced by the current implementation of the FreeRTOS kernel. I plan to work on tweaking the sources so no warnings are shown by default. I *love* warning free sources, but having sources that way is a challenge across different compilers….

Debug

Download and debug starts with this icon:

Download and Debug

Download and Debug

And after a few seconds: I’m already debugging :-)

Debugging

Debugging

From here on, I think things are pretty obvious. And you can go back to Processor Expert and change settings, re-generate code and build and debug it in the IAR IDE.

:idea: If you create new files, then you need to add them in the IAR IDE as too. Unfortunately, I have not seen an ‘automatic refresh’. What I do is to use the menu ‘Project > Add Project Connections’ again.

:idea: Update: the IAR v6.7 now automatically detects the new or removed files, see this post.

Summary

Processor Expert components are not limited to CodeWarrior: They are very useful with other tool chains and IDE’s too, and the IAR Embedded Workbench is one. There is as well Processor Expert support for Keil, but I have not tried it out yet.

FreeRTOS has been ported to the IAR compiler forthe Cortex-M0+ (Kinetis-L), with at least some minimal testing. I’ll see when I can find time to finish as well the part for Cortex-M4(F). And everything is open source and available on GitHub.

Happy IARing :-)

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14 thoughts on “Tutorial: IAR + FreeRTOS + Freedom Board

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  9. The process is easy to follow and it seems like it should work. I am trying to use this with PE 10.4 and IAR 7.30 for a Vybrid project. I am getting the impression that PEX is setting the Vybrid up for the A5 core even though I don’t see any selection for which core to use. So when I try to compile the combined project I get errors like: ARM mode is not available in this core. Also when first connecting the projects I receive a warning box stating: Unkown Device name MVF61NN151CK50. Is there a configuration setting somewhere that I am missing? Thanks.

    Like

      • OK, time for confession. I did not read the release notes for Processor Expert 10.4 until after I was having the problem. Here is what it says:
        Vybrid limitations:
        – Tested with Eclipse 4.2
        – No dual-core support. Only A5 core supported in the generated code.

        So, back to the good old-fashioned way of initializing registers manually.

        Like

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