First Steps with the LPC55S69-EVK (Dual-Core ARM Cortex-M33 with Trustzone)

For the long Easter weekend I have organized a new toy: the NXP LPC55S69-EVK board: a dual ARM Cortex-M33 running at 100 MHz with ARM TrustZone:

LPC55S69 Microcontroller

LPC55S69 Microcontroller

The LPC55S69 is of special interest because it is one of the new ARM Cortex-M33 which implements new ARM Trustzone security features: with this feature it is possible to run ‘trusted’ and ‘untrusted’ code on the same microcontroller.

LPC88S6x Block Diagram

LPC55S6x Block Diagram (Source: NXP)

LPC55S6x Block Diagram

LPC55S6x Block Diagram (Source: NXP LPC55X6x Datasheet)

The following table from ARM (https://developer.arm.com/ip-products/processors/cortex-m/cortex-m33) gives an overview of the Cortex-M33 (Armv8-M) architeture:

Feature  Cortex-M0 Cortex-M0+ Cortex-M1 Cortex-M23 Cortex-M3 Cortex-M4  Cortex-M33 Cortex-M35P  Cortex-M7 
Instruction set architecture  Armv6-M Armv6-M Armv6-M Armv8-M Baseline Armv7-M Armv7-M Armv8-M Mainline Armv8-M Mainline Armv7-M
Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb, Thumb-2 Thumb,
Thumb-2
Thumb,
Thumb-2
Thumb,
Thumb-2
DMIPS/MHz range* 0.87-1.27 0.95-1.36 0.8 0.99 1.25-1.89 1.25-1.95 1.5 1.5 2.14-3.23
CoreMark®/MHz** 2.33 2.46 1.85 2.5 3.34 3.42 4.02 4.02 5.01
Pipeline stages 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 6
Memory Protection Unit (MPU)  No Yes (option) No Yes (option)
(2 x)
Yes (option) Yes (option) Yes (option)
(2 x)
Yes (option)
(2 x)
Yes (option)
Maximum MPU regions  0 8 0 16 8 8 16 16 16
Trace (ETM or MTB) No MTB (option) No MTB (option) or
ETMv3 (option)
ETMv3 (option) ETMv3 (option) MTB (option) and/or
ETMv4 (option)
MTB (option) and/or
ETMv4 (option)
ETMv4 (option)
DSP  No No No No No Yes Yes (option) Yes (option) Yes
Floating point hardware  No No No No No Yes (option SP) Yes (option SP) Yes (option SP) Yes
(option SP + DP)
Systick Timer Yes (option) Yes (option) Yes (option) Yes (2 x) Yes Yes Yes (2 x) Yes (2 x) Yes
Built-in Caches  No No No No No No No Yes (option 2- 16kB Yes (option 4-64kB
 I-cache I-cache, D -cache)
Tightly Coupled Memory  No No Yes No No No No No Yes
(option 0-16MB
I-TCM/D-TCM)
TrustZone for Armv8-M No No No Yes (option) No No Yes (option) Yes (option) No
Co-processor interface  No No No No No No Yes (option) Yes (option) No
Bus protocol AHB Lite AHB Lite, Fast I/O AHB Lite AHB5, Fast I/O AHB Lite, APB AHB Lite, APB AHB5 AHB5 AXI4, AHB Lite, APB, TCM
Wake-up interrupt controller support Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integrated interrupt controller Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Maximum # external interrupts
32 32 32 240 240 240 480 480 240
Hardware divide No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Single cycle multiply Yes (option) Yes (option) No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
CMSIS Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

(ARM Cortex-M Comparison Table: Source ARM).

Unboxing

I ordered my board from Mouser for CHF 43. The board came in nice card box:

LPC55S69-EVK Box

LPC55S69-EVK Box

The content (apart of some stuffing material) is the board itself plus a small bag with 4 jumpers:

LPC55S69-EVK Board

LPC55S69-EVK Board (Top Side)

LPC55S69-EVK Board Bottom Side

LPC55S69-EVK Board Bottom Side

The board includes a LPC4322 (Link2) based debug probe:

LPC55S69-EVK Board Components

LPC55S69-EVK Board Components (Source: NXP)

Software and Tools

On https://mcuxpresso.nxp.com there is the MCUXpresso SDK for the board available for download:

MCUXpresso SDK for 55S69

MCUXpresso SDK for 55S69

I have downloaded the latest version 2.5.1 (released mid of April 2019):

SDK 2.5.1

SDK 2.5.1

As IDE I’m using the NXP MCUXpresso IDE 10.3.1. The SDK gets installed by Drag&Drop into the Installed SDK’s view:

Installed SDK in MCUXpresso IDE

With the SDK installed, I can quickly create a new project or import example projects:

Quickstart Panel

Quickstart Panel

SDK Wizard

SDK Wizard

FreeRTOS

The SDK V2.5.1 comes with a FreeRTOS V10.0.1 port which runs out of the box, using the M4 port.

Debugging FreeRTOS on LPC55S69

Debugging FreeRTOS on LPC55S69

In the McuOnEclipse FreeRTOS port I’m already using FreeRTOS 10.2.0, so this is something I have to soon too.

Configuration Tools

The IDE comes with the NXP MCUXpresso Configuration Tools integrated.

With the graphical configuration tools I can create pin muxing and clock configurations:

Pins Tool

Pins Tool

Clocks Tool

Clocks Tool

Secure and Non-Secure

The SDK comes with demos using secure + non-secure application parts. To make it easy, the projects have TrustZone settings for the compiler and linker:

TrustZone Project Settings

TrustZone Project Settings

I have started playing with TrustZone, but this is subject of a follow-up article.

Erase Flash

Dealing with a ARM Cortex-M33 multicore device for sure is a bit more complex than just using an old-fashioned single Core M0+. Because of the secure and non-secure features, it might be necessary to get things back into a clean state. So this is what worked best for me:

  1. Have a non-secure and simple project present in the workspace. I’m using the ‘led_blinky’ from the SDK examples.

    LED Blinky

    LED Blinky

  2. Power the Board with IP5 USB connector (P5: cable with the yellow dot) and debug it with the onboard LPC-Link2 connector (P6).

    LPC55S69 Power and Debug

    LPC55S69 Power and Debug

  3. With that project selected, erase the flash using the action in the Quickstart Panel.

    Erase Flash Using Linkserver

    Erase Flash Using Linkserver

  4. Select core 0 for the erase operation:

    Select core for Flash Erase

    Select core for Flash Erase

  5. This should work without problems.PressOK the dialog:

    Operation Successful

    Operation Successful

  6. At this point I recommend to disconnect and re-connect the P6 (Debug) cable.
  7. Now I can program the normal application again:

    Programming Blinky

    Programming Blinky

With this I have a working and known state for my experiments.

Summary

The Easter break is coming to an end and has been interesting at least to say. The NXP LPC55S69-EVK is very appealing: the board is reasonably priced and with all the connectors it is a good way to evaluate the microcontroller. The most interesting thing is that it has a dual-core ARM-Cortex M33 with the ARM TrustZone implementation. To be able to run ‘trusted’ and ‘untrusted’ (e.g. user code) on the same device could be one of the standard models of microcontroller going forward, especially in the ‘internet of things’ area. So I think I have to explore this device and board and its capabilities in at least one follow-up article?

Happy Trusting 🙂

Links

8 thoughts on “First Steps with the LPC55S69-EVK (Dual-Core ARM Cortex-M33 with Trustzone)

  1. I just had a NXP training on this board last week in Minneapolis. Wow, what a part.

    It has some very interesting hardware on it like a very interesting DSP implementation that isn’t mainstream at all. The memory protection stuff is something closer to what’s been around in minicomputers for 45 years but hasn’t been coming to the microcontroller land. This has lots of crypto stuff on it. It has odd things like IIR engines. The SDK now knows how to slice things up for the hardware.

    Yah, if you’re doing DSP kinds of things on the edge in IoT land, this processor is exactly what is required.

    Like

    • The ARM default memory protection say for the M4 has been kind of useless to me. The NXP extensions on it (I used it on the K64F) made it at least somewhat usable with a better/finer memory granularity. I think that might be one of the reasons that the standard ARM Cortex MPU (or even the extensions) have not been used much in the industry. I have not yet looked what the LPC55S69 offers in that space.
      About the DSP implementation: I have not used something like this in my projects, but I guess with all the ‘Alexa & Co.’ stuff getting in more places, maybe this would be the target market for this?
      As for trainings on the LPC55S69: I looked what is available in Europe, and obviously Avnet is running a a series (https://www.avnet.com/wps/portal/silica/resources/training-and-events/event/nxp-lpc55xx-hands-on-training/) with Milan the closest. Unfortunately I’m tight up on that date at the university so I’m exploring things on my own. Who did the training in Minneapolis? Is there material availble somewhere? I had sucess playing with one of the secure/unsecure examples with some clues from the forums.

      Like

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