CodeWarrior for MCU10.3 beta is now available

Today is the ‘L Day’ for Freescale: After the announcement of the Cortex-M0+ family (Kinetis-L) earlier this year, it has been launched on the Freescale web site. Given the positive echo on my post around the KL25Z Freedom board (which has a Kinetis Cortex-M0+ KL25 on it) and the fact that production board is shipping these days, a lot of engineers were waiting for the CodeWarrior for MCU10.3 as it is in my view the development tool of choice as well for ARM Kinetis-L. And right on time, the MCU10.3 beta is available for download on http://www.freescale.com/cwmcu10. Time to show what I have noticed as new and noteworthy…

If you followed my blog around the KL25Z Freedom board, then you know that this version includes gcc for Kinetis (both K and L series). So this means that another open source tool is available for me to develop embedded applications :-).

Compared to MCU10.2, the new release comes with many larger and smaller improvements I try to list here. More information is available here and here:

  • New support for Kinetis-L and S12Z.
  • IDE startup time is reduced, as more things are running in the background. But it takes somewhat longer the very first time after installation.
  • ARM GCC Build tools for Kinetis, both Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M0+:

    ARM gcc Build Tools

    ARM gcc Build Tools

  • It includes Eclipse 3.7 (MCU10.2 is Eclipse 3.6):

    Eclipse 3.7

    Eclipse 3.7

  • It comes with greatly simplified perspectives (see http://blogs.freescale.com/2012/09/25/codewarrior-ide-v10-3-a-whole-new-perspective/): a lot of unused or rarely used menus, toolbar items and views are removed by default. Still, I can customize it, but now everything is much easier to use as the views not overloaded any more. This applies both to the C/C++ perspective, but as well to the Debug Perspective:
    Simplified C Perspective

    Simplified C Perspective

    Simplified Debug Perspective

    Simplified Debug Perspective

  • A brand new Commander View which gives one-click access to the most frequent things:

    Commander View

    Commander View

  • Extended and simplified ‘Flash File to Target’, with the ability to unprotect devices:

    Flash File to Target

    Flash File to Target

  • Double Hammer Icon in the toolbar to build all projects:

    Double Hammer

    Double Hammer

  • I can delete a whole group in the problems view (I do not need to select all messages any more):

    Delete Group in Problems View

    Delete Group in Problems View

  • The new project wizard is simplified. No need any more to select the package if creating a Processor Expert project. No useless ‘Add Files’ dialog any more. And it automatically filters for devices (so no need to use wildcards):

    automatic filtering

    automatic filtering

  • There is now a clean separation between Project (CodeWarrior Projects View) and Processor Expert (Components View):

    Projects and Component Views

    Projects and Component Views

  • Copy-Paste of Processor Expert components between projects and workspace. And now it is possible to use a shortcut (Delete) to remove a component:

    Copy Paste of Processor Expert Components, plus Delete shortcut

    Copy Paste of Processor Expert Components, plus Delete shortcut

  • Processor Expert user components can be removed from the library:

    Deleting User Component

    Deleting User Component

  • Switching the workspace allows me to copy settings:

    Switching Workspace

    Switching Workspace

  • Better integration into Windows 7: while building it shows progress in the task bar:

    Progress in Windows 7 Taskbar

    Progress in Windows 7 Taskbar

I continue to explore the features and hidden treasures.

One more thing: there is no Linux host support with this beta. While in general Linux support is a good thing, I realized as well in my lecture classes that only 5-8% of the students wanted to use Linux, and most ended up using Windows host for various reasons. So to me it is not a big surprise.

Summary

For me this CodeWarrior is the best ever. There are many more changes, and the release notes are a good source for more exploration. I had the chance to use the pre-beta for an extended period, and was very pleased with it. Clearly, this is a beta, and not everything is perfect. But I expect that things get even better for the final MCU10.3 which should come out to the end of the year. I’m looking forward to that one..

Happy Beta Testing 🙂

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29 thoughts on “CodeWarrior for MCU10.3 beta is now available

    • No, there is no restriction for gcc in the compilation process. In the beta the debugger is unlimited for gcc binaries too. But I was told that later the final will have a code size restriction in the debugger similar to what exists for the other supported toolchains/architectures. That means as well: S19 files (or bin files) will be unrestricted.

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  1. Double check on the FSL website, I think for Kinetis it is 64K for the free special Edition tools. I don’t know for the beta, historically betas are fully functional but time limited. So there would be no limit, but the license will run out.

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    • yes, no need to uninstall 10.2. I have 10.3 installed on the side in a different folder. And it is no issue to switch back and forward. I have 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 all running in parallel on my machine :-).

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  10. Do you know how to add support for KL25 on CW 10.2 ? My current projects are developed in this version and don’t want to install the 10.3 V only for KL !

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    • KL25 is supported 10.3 only. But you can keep 10.2 and have 10.3 on the side/in parallel. I have the same thing: many 10.2 projects (I use with 10.2) and 10.3 KL25 projects. No problem for me.

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    • The only way to use it is with a virtual machine. But not sure what the issue would be with WINE as I have not tried it out.

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  13. I sincerely hope that the unavailability of the Linux version of 10.3 is only a temporary issue. One of the factors in our decision to move from NXP to Freescale was that they did have Linux support for their development tools. It would be extremely upsetting to find out now that they kicked us all under the bus. Freescale’s claim to fame is their consistency and long term commitment to their customers. A failure to continue Linux support would reflect very poorly on this commitment, and would likely cause me to design out the Kinetis microcontroller from all our products and go back to NXP. If I can’t rely on a company I’d rather not rely on NXP who tends be cheaper and have fewer legacy issues in their product line.

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    • I happily pass your feedback to Freescale, and I encourage you (and everyone else who wants Linux host support) to do the same. I think without big demand for Linux host, it will not happen.

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  17. I an Arduino user who is looking to “upgrade” to the Freedom KL25Z board. I use a mac and have tried to install an IDE without much success so far. I have Eclipse Juno running and tried to install a ARM plugin and it crashed. I then tried to install Codewarrior 10.3 using Wine but it got stuck on the P&E (?, sorry I have a goldfish’s memory span) driver installation. I’m a complete novice at toolchains and cannot figure this out by myself. Is it possible to program this board without using processor expert as the sample code I’ve seen is completely bewildering after using the Arduino’s easy IDE and libraries and I don’t want to find myself beaten by the complexities of 200 line “Hello World” programs?
    Thank you
    Michael

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    • Hi Michael,
      yes, you can use the board and IDE without Processor Expert. But believe: once you get used to it, you feel like things are stone age otherwise ;-). The key thing is that you still need to understand what you are doing (well, that’s the essence of engineering), and this tool helps you with this. Just my opinion. As for your environment: unless you are an eclipse expert, it is not easy just to mix and match different plugins. That’s why Freescale has put things into its CodeWarrior distribution. But unfortunately a Mac is not an ideal environment neither: as you report, Wine is not perfect and seems to have many issues with USB drivers (and others). I have tried using Mac for embedded programming, and it was just to much pain for me. I have many students in my classes using Macs, so it is definitely possible, but they say as well that they need to master the quirks of the virtual machines in order to get windows programs running. As for the Arduino libraries and IDE’s: I have been told that users are working on a port for the Freedom board, so this might be available in the future.
      Hope this helps,
      Erich

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