MCUXpresso IDE: Installing Processor Expert into Eclipse Neon

In “MCUXpresso IDE: Importing Kinetis Design Studio Projects” I explained how Kinetis Design Studio projects can be imported and used inside the MCUXpresso IDE. Processor Expert projects can be used, but no new components added, modified or new Processor Expert projects created. To fully use Processor Expert, two plugins need to installed, and this is what this article is about.

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

MCUXpresso IDE Series

💡 The approach described in this article works for a DYI Eclipse Oxygen or with MCUXpresso IDE 10.0. With MCUXpresso IDE 10.1 (see “Eclipse MCUXpresso IDE 10.1 with integrated MCUXpresso Configuration Tools“), there is a conflict as the NXP configuration tools conflict with Processor Expert: you have to uninstall the Configuration Tools in 10.1 first.

This article is part of a series to get up to speed using the new NXP MCUXpresso IDE. Published so far are:


Processor Expert is a great tool: It supports component based software development, has a graphical user interface to add and configure settings and to generate code on the fly. However, NXP does not continue is development and the Processor Expert functionality gets replaced by the new MCUXpresso tools. Pins and Clocks are available, but that ‘Peripheral’ tool not yet which should help me with configuring the microcontroller UART, SPI, I²C, etc. So until that tool is available (expected this year) I have to use Processor Expert if I want a graphical configuration tool.

💡 Processor Expert in MCUXpresso is a ‘not supported by NXP’ configuration. It works fine for me, but aware.

The steps outlined here should work for any Eclipse Neon distribution (using Eclipse Neon.3, I had issues with Neon.1). Processor Expert would need GNU tools for compile and build, see “MCUXpresso IDE: Importing Kinetis Design Studio Projects” how to install them into any Eclipse distribution.

💡 MCUXpresso IDE supports both the Kinetis and LPC microcontroller families. Processor Expert only supports Kinetis!


Processor Expert creates and uses projects with the GNU ARM Eclipse build tools and the GNU ARM Embedded (gcc) toolchain. Both are *not* installed by default in MCUXpresso. To install them, follow the steps outlined in my earlier article: “MCUXpresso IDE: Importing Kinetis Design Studio Projects

Processor Expert Installation

Go to

and download the Processor Expert for Kinetis v3.0 Eclipse plugin (Eclipse 4.4 or later):

Processor Expert for Kinetis

Processor Expert for Kinetis

The downloaded file is named

As the name indicates, unzip it first. This gives the following four files:

Unzipped files

Unzipped files

From the same page, download the Processor Expert for Kinetis v3.0.2 update:

Processor Expert v3.0.2 Update

Processor Expert v3.0.2 Update

Then unzip the file:

PEx for Kinetis 3.0.2 Files

PEx for Kinetis 3.0.2 Files

Install the ‘freescale_updater.zipfirst! That plugin is needed for Processor Expert as it allows to install any Processor Expert and the Processor Expert functionality. Without it, you cannot install Processor Expert!

For this, use the menu Help > Install New Software and drag&drop the file into the dialog, then install it:

Installing FSL Eclipse Updater

Installing FSL Eclipse Updater

After restarting Eclipse, install PEx_for Kinetis in the same way:

Processor Expert v3.0.0 Installation

Processor Expert v3.0.0 Installation

Next, we install the v3.0.2 update for Processor Expert (file we have unzipped in the previous step!):

PEx for Kinetis 3.0.2 Files

PEx for Kinetis 3.0.2 Files

Then install the update it the same way as the other files:

Install PEx for Kineits 3.0.2 into MCUXpresso IDE

Install PEx for Kinetis 3.0.2 into MCUXpresso IDE

Restart Eclipse, and done: We have the Kinetis Design Studio V3.2.0 Processor Expert capabilities added to MCUXpresso IDE 🙂 !

SDK Project Menus

💡 I don’t use the SDK 2.x projects anymore, as there is the newer (and better) MCUXpresso SDK available. So you can skip this part.

To have the ability to create SDK 2.x projects, install the following plugin from

with the Help > Install new software menu:

Kinetis SDK 2.x Wizard

Kinetis SDK 2.x Wizard

This adds the SDK 2.x project menu:

Kinetis SDK project menus

Kinetis SDK project menus

Creating Processor Expert Projects

To create a new Processor Expert project, use the menu File > New > Processor Expert Project:

Processor Expert Project Creation

Processor Expert Project Creation

💡 I do not recommend creating new SDK 1.x projects: better use SDK v2.x projects with MCUXpresso IDE.

Give the project a name and pick your device:

Device Selection

Device Selection

Then choose Processor Expert with no SDK selected:

Processor Expert Project

Processor Expert Project

💡 With the Processor Expert option disabled, I can create ‘bare’ projects (no SDK, no Processor Expert) which is a nice benefit I get with the plugins.

Go through the next dialog and have GNU tools selected, and I have a Processor Expert project in MCUXpresso IDE :-).

If the Processor Expert views are not shown, use the menu blow or Window > Show Views > Other > Processor Expert.

Processor Expert show views

Processor Expert show views

With this, I have the power of Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE available:

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE


MCUXpresso does not have Processor Expert installed, as the new route is to use the SDK with the Pins and Clocks tool. As the Peripheral tool is not available yet, and for continue using projects from Kinetis Design Studio, it is possible to install Processor Expert into the Eclipse Neon based MCUXpresso IDE. That way I have the same capabilities as in Kinetis Design Studio v3.2.0 (or any other Eclipse distribution with Processor Expert). To be clear: this is something ‘out of the main road’, and Processor Expert does not support the SDK v2.x (there is only a ‘hack’ I’m using it with SDK v2.x projects, see “Tutorial: Using Eclipse with NXP MCUXpresso SDK v2 and Processor Expert“). Regardless, adding Processor Expert to the MCUXpresso IDE allows me to leave both LPCXpresso and Kinetis Design Studio behind, as I have now a truly combined IDE and toolchain.

Happy Experting 🙂


35 thoughts on “MCUXpresso IDE: Installing Processor Expert into Eclipse Neon

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      • Hi Erich,
        I use on KDS ok, thanks.

        other question, install MCUEprosso, update ok
        now it problems license not found
        Install the first! <—-second install, error order.
        unitall all, re-install firt ‘‘, others…

        install components Components ok
        I creat project PE ok, no oped project, not show views.



        • Hi Carlos,
          what kind of license not found? If you have this in the console view:

          Processor Expert license file = not used (no license file)
          CDE: no license found, using Community Edition License

          then it is normal.
          And use the menu Window > Show Views > Processor Expert to show any other views.


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  6. Hi Erich,

    I followed the entire blog thread on this topic and everything installed as expected.
    Processor Expert was working and all was well.
    Until… I close Eclipse and restarted. Now it just hangs in the splash screen at: “Loading com.freescale.processorexpert.ui.selector”

    If I select a different workspace before the splash screen, it comes up.
    After that, Switch Workspace back to the original, it crashes.

    Any ideas? Perhaps some java related switches for mcuxpressoide.ini
    It is running on Windows 7-64

    Thanks, Bill


    • Hi Bill,
      I remember I had that for some of the views showing up, but do not remember what was the problem.
      What I did was open that workspace with another Neon Instance without processsor Expert, then closed all the Processor Expert views so they do not show up at the startup.


  7. I have install, but do not support MK66 and MK26, just the Kinetis microcontrollers I need.
    Some solution to install Processor Express in MCUXpresso with support for MK66 and MK26 ??



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  11. Hi, Erich, I’ve succeeded in install the Processor Export within MCUXpresso, but when I selected the components, it reminds of some error, saying “An internal error has occurred, java.lang.NullPointerException. “and when I restart MCUXpresso, it stalled somewhere. Saying “Loading com.freescale.processorexpert.ui.selector. “Could you help me figure out what happened?


    • Not sure if this is the same problem I saw occasionally. It seems to be triggered by the Component Library view, if it is open and visible in the workspace/perspective.
      The solution I have used is the following:
      a) I have installed MCUXpresso IDE in a separete directory (‘native’ installation, without Processor Expert)
      b) launch that ‘native’ MCUXpresso IDE and open that workspace with the problem
      c) Close any Processor Expert views (especially the ‘Component Library’ one
      d) Close the IDE and and use the Processor Expert IDE with that workspace
      That solved the problem for me. I’m not sure if there in easier way. But there seems to be a problem withe Eclipse loading the view during startup. I saw the same issue with Eclipse Oxygen too.
      I hope this helps,


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  14. Hi Erich,

    I just followed your instructions but I am experiencing some problems. When I create the Processor Expert Project all goes well but trying to build the project I get the following:

    “**** Build of configuration Debug for project 01_KL25_Blink_PEx ****

    Nothing to build for project 01_KL25_Blink_PEx

    Looking to the project properties I realized that in Current Toolchain option, “Empty Tool Chain” is selected, but any option I select there is no way to get it working.

    Please, could you help?

    Best Regards


    • I just saw the previous post installing the toolchain apart from the IDE. Ohg, do you know if NXP will support PEx natively. This process is really exhausting, hard to reproduce or deploy and not maintainable…
      However, thanks for your continuous support.
      Best Regards


      • NXP has abandoned Processor Expert and it has been replaced with the new MCUXpresso configuration tools.
        But I’m having many, many existing projects with Processor Expert, so I have found a way how to continue to use it.
        But this is not supported or maintained by NXP.


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  16. Hi Erich,
    I did your tutorial but at the point when I should install “New Kinetis SDK 2.x Project Wizard” it says: The installation cannot be completed as requested
    As a solution MCUXpresso wants to upgrade/dowgrade the GNU ARM PEMicro Interface Debugging Support
    Any idee how I can install the SDK correct?

    Best regards


    • Hi Corsin,
      I did not see that problem. On the other hand: I don’t think you will need that wizard, so you can skip that part? If you want to use any SDK project, then I recommend to use the MCUXpresso one and not that outdated v2.x


  17. Hi, Erich,

    After reading “MCUXpresso: Importing Kinetis Design Studio Projects” and “MCUXpresso IDE: Installing Processor Expert Into Eclipse Neon”, I installed MCUExpresso IDE v11,1,1_3241. It’s perfect ! After a few hours of using MCUXpresso seems to me to be more reactive than KDS.
    Unfortunately, I have the impression that “Component Development Environment 1.8.0.RT7_b1530-1106” is buggy or that I do not know how to make it work, because I cannot create my own components. The drv file quickly corrupts.

    What tools do you use to create and manage all of your components?

    Thanking you in advance for your response.


    • Hi Rémy,
      glad to hear you were able to make it work with the help of the two articles!
      I had tried the Eclipse version of the CDE (Component Development Environment), but it never worked well for me, mainly there were too many issues and problems, and the beans files got very convoluted with unnecessary information. I had submitted several tickets, but oviously development got stopped and things were not addressed.
      So I’m still using what I’m using from the beginning for the component developemt: The ‘Bean Wizard’ which was (is?) part of the CodeWarrior Professional Edition: that wizard was bundled with CodeWarrior and luckily it runs outside of CodeWarrior, and it runs without problems under 64bit Windows 10 still. The only minor issue is that there is limit of I think 128 components in a package for export, that’s why I package my components in two pices. But not a big deal. You get the Wizard with the free-of-charge standard edition of CodeWarrior for MCU too, you can find it in C:\nxp\CW MCU v11.1\MCU\ProcessorExpert\BeanWizard.exe. But it will need a license.


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