Improve Eclipse Performance with Increased Heap Size

I noticed that especially working with several projects in my workspace, Eclipse got sluggish and slowly responding. I have in Eclipse the Heap Monitor/Status enabled (see “Show Heap Status in Eclipse“):

Heap Status at the Limit

Heap Status at the Limit

So the used heap of the Java VM is hitting a limit of about 500 MByte, and seems to be trashing around? How to increase that heap size?

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To write a program using KDS with Kinetis SDK!!

Starting from the baby steps for our project seems like a good idea but not very helpful though. Learning and understanding Kinetis SDK seems like a lot of work. Meanwhile, I would like to share an important piece of information that I found on my path of working on this project. Many of you might already know, but being a first time user of Kinetis SDK 1.2.0, I found that there are few differences between Kinetis SDK 1.1.0 and Kinetis SDK 1.2.0. I was trying my hands on to use the KDS with KSDK.

So, In order to create a KDS project with Kinetis SDK, I need to create new folders, add different files and the libraries to my project. I didn’t look into all this with much detail before. I would recommend all to go through this link in order to understand using KDS with Kinetis SDK1.1.0 and Kinetis SDK 1.2.0:

This is how it looks after you have added everything:

Project Explorer view

Project Explorer view

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FRDM K64F Data Logger using FatFs with KSDK 1.2.0

Check out the article by Wesley Hunter about how to use the FRDM-K64F as a data logger. He describes all the steps how to use the Kinetis SDK v1.2.0 with FatFS.

Happy Logging 🙂


This blog is a guide on how to setup using the FatFs library included with the Kinetis SDK 1.2.0 using mostly the Processor expert within Eclipse Luna. FatFs is a generic FAT file system module for small embedded systems written by Chan. I prefer to use Processor Expert when possible as this will often generate code that is smaller in size than using the KSDK library files direct. I experienced many gotcha’s and complication setting this up and wanted to share how I finally managed to get it to work.

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Create New Project
  3. Open Processor Expert
  4. Add SD card component
  5. Add Init_Port component
  6. Add GPIO component
  7. Configure the clock
  8. Import FatFs
  9. Add Card detection code
  10. FAT file appender function
  11. Disable the MPU


Before you begin please make sure your development environment is setup and you can already compile and debug code using KSDK 1.2.0 on Eclipse Luna…

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Unboxing the Freescale FRDM-KL43Z Board

I’m preparing for the next semester at the university starting in September this year. As part of that, I’m currently evaluating the Freescale Kinetis FRDM-KL43Z board:

FRDM-KL43Z Board Unpacked

FRDM-KL43Z Board Unpacked

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Freescale Freedom Board Tutorials on Element14

I have found several excellent tutorials created by Bheema Rao on element14: He uses many of the McuOnEclipse components, features Kinetis Design Studio/Eclipse and shows how to use the Kinetis SDK, toggling/dimming LED’s on Freescale Freedom Boards.



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Using Kinetis Design Studio V3.0.0 with the Launchpad 4.9-2015-q2 Release

The Kinetis Design Studio v3.0.0 comes with the GNU/GCC ARM Embedded (launchpad) version 4.8-2014-q3. End of June 2015, ARM released a new version, the 4.9-2015-q1.So why not using that newer release?

Release GCC ARM Embedded 4.9 update 2

Release GCC ARM Embedded 4.9 update 2

  1. It comes with GDB version 7.8 and has the ‘return of function display’ feature.
  2. GDB has Phyton scripting support.
  3. It fixes that nasty GDB bug ‘breakpoint on removed code’ issue.

Is that already enough to make that switch?

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Not done yet!! :P

Hi again to all the amazing readers of this blog! Well guess what, I am still stuck with the programming code of my NeoMatrix Demo. I think it all started with a bad choice of importing the program and libraries from the mbed to KDS. 😦

You can refer to for other programs if you guys want to try.

Well in my last blog I told you about importing the projects and then building them. Well that was what I was trying to do but it turns out that it is not a good idea. I still have a compilation error which is there probably because of a missing assembly. Debugging the code can sometimes be really frustrating for me.  😐 So, I have decided to start from the scratch and write the code in Kinetis Design studio with the help of the Kinetis SDK. There is already the gpio example for FRDM-K64F available under the driver examples folder in KSDK_1.2.0

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How to use Kinetis Design Studio!!

Getting the hands on an embedded project has always been exciting for me. So, here I am again with my blog trying to provide you with an easy to use guide for the Kinetis Design Studio 3.0.0 (KDS_3.0.0). Well, as you all know I am an intern at Freescale working for the first time on KDS, I will tell you what all we can do to start working on it with a perspective of a novice. But personally I feel KDS is one of the most encouraging IDE you can work on. So how do I start with my code for our NeoMatrix board? I am currently working with one of the demo codes for the NeoMatrix:

So, my first task is to write the code in KDS for the NeoMatrix_Demo. How do I do that? After opening the KDS 3.0.0, I need to go to File and select New and then Kinetis Project. You can see that the New Kinetis Project wizard appears once you click the File>New> Kinetis Project. Type a name and click next.

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Hrad Veveří Castle

I’m visiting Brno in the Czech Republic which is the second largest city of the country. A bit outside of the town there is the is the Veveří Castle. Got there in the evening, and the castle was about to be closed to the public, so I was able to take a few pictures only. The sunlight painted the castle in a nice color:

Castle Veveri Bridge

Castle Hrad Veveří

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Learning about Kinetis SDK!!:)

We all know that for an application to develop, for a project to work we need hardware along with the software.  So here we are with our FRDM-K64F development boards, but the question is-how to make them work? I wrote in my second blog about the new getting started process by Freescale for the FRDM-K64F:

This link gives me the opportunity to download the very helpful Kinetis Software Development Kit (SDK) along with the Integrated Development Environment which includes the toolchain Kinetis Design Studio. Let us talk a bit about the Kinetis SDK in this blog. So what does Kinetis SDK is responsible for? In simple terms, it is just software framework which helps us in developing applications across all Kinetis Microcontrollers. It is a package of pre-written code that developers can re-use in order to minimize the amount of unique code that they need to develop themselves.

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Getting to know FRDM-K64F and more!! :)

I believe waiting makes you feel more impatient. So here I am, waiting for my NeoMatrix 8×8 – 64 RGB LED Pixel Matrix to arrive, so that we can begin working on our cool project. But looking on the brighter side, I got some time to make the beforehand preparations for our Signboard project. I took the opportunity to invest this time in finding out how to start running the Adafruit NeoMatrix with Kinetis FRDM-K64F development board. We should definitely get ourselves ready with something so that we can test NeoMatrix with FRDM-K64F as it arrives. So I thought of setting up a repository where we can turn back anytime we feel we are stuck.


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Field Art Link Star in Memory of Agent BBJ

Yesterday night, in a cross faction Ingress operation, agents from different places in Switzerland created a virtual Field Art Star for the recently passed agent BBJ (BigBigJerk) Andreas Lander. Agents from both factions worked together to create a gigantic link star in Switzerland. Watch the video of its creation:

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Automatic Variable, Expression and Memory Display with GDB and Eclipse

One of the great features in CodeWarrior for MCU10.x is the ability to read memory/variables while running (see “Live View for Variables and Memory“). This technology of ‘live view’ is based on the CodeWarrior debugger engine. How can I do something like this with stock GDB and Eclipse? What I need is a periodic update of variables/expressions/memory while the program on the board is running, without the need to stop the board with the debugger first:

periodic auto-display output

periodic auto-display output

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The Lost Bell Tower of Graun in Lake Reschen

On our motorbike tour through the Alps this weekend, we visited Italy, Austria and of course many summits in Switzerland. On the way from Italy to Austria we visited Lake Reschen (or Lago di Resia), an artificial Lake in South Tyrol, Italy, south of the Reschen Summit. The lake is famous for the bell tower of a 14th-century church: the tower is all what remains from the submerged village of Graun, and it probably Italy’s most famous drowned town:

Reschensee Glockenturm

Glockenturm im Reschensee

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Let’s play with Freescale FRDM-K64F

Hello Again!

In my previous blog I talked about the new getting started process for Kinetis FRDM-K64F development board. Here I am with my next blog going one step further and introducing you to the target application that I have planned for this summer using the awesome FRDM K-64 development board from Freescale. I am planning to work on some really cool stuff that we can do from this board. And I came up with an idea for making an Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix Signboard!!adafruit LED

Wait….does it sound boring to you? Nah… we are not planning some ordinary signboard. This Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix signboard is really cool. It will display what you want to display and it will change the displayed text with just the movement of your hand. Sounds interesting now?? Continue reading

FreeRTOS Continuous Trace Streaming

Key to successfully implementing embedded applications these days is to have detailed visibility into what is going on with the application on the board. For this, I’m using the FreeRTOS+Trace from Percepio to inspect the runtime behaviour. Stop-Mode debugging is very useful, but visibility into the runtime is even more important. FreeRTOS+Trace is a tool to accomplish this, but it requires to dump the data off the target to the host (see “Updated Percepio Tracealyzer and Trace Library to Version V2.7.0“). Usually, I’m using the GDB debugger for this, and that works for shorter trace sequences like a few seconds. Yes, I can combine them, but it painful to stop, dump and continue. So what if I could collect trace for several minutes or hours without the need to stop the application? Why not stream the data to the host directly?

So here is it: I’m now able to get almost unlimited trace streaming off the target, witout user intervention. I can trace my application for hours 🙂

Trace Recording

Trace Recording for almost one hour

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Tutorial: Using Processor Expert and FreeRTOS with Kinetis SDK V1.2

Freescale has released the new Kinetis SDK v1.2 back in May. Because of the changes in v1.2, previous applications (or my tutorials) do not work any more :-(. So time to write a new tutorial: how I can use Processor Expert with FreeRTOS for the Kinetis SDK v1.2.

Blinky Task with FreeRTOS and Kinetis SDK in KDS v3.0.0

Blinky Task with FreeRTOS and Kinetis SDK in KDS v3.0.0

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Getting started with Kinetis FRDM- K64F: New and Better!! :)

Hello all!

Here is my second blog about the Kinetis MCU development boards, introducing you to the new and more informative Getting Started process for Kinetis FRDM-K64F from Freescale. As a part of my internship I got the amazing opportunity to play with the ‘New Getting Started’ process and the most recent box of the FRDM-K64F development board from Freescale.

Freescale have been working all along to make the life of its customers easier. So, at the FTF 2015 we launched the new website:

This website is for the new Getting started process for FRDM K-64F. This website will tell you all that you will need to start the FRDM K-64F development board. Continue reading