I have started the semester and labs using the MCUXpresso IDE V11.2.0 which has been available from July this year. The past week I received the notification that the update V11.2.1 is available: time to check it out….
The version number change from V11.2.0 to V11.2.1 indicates a minor update and bug fix. As before it is possible to run multiple IDEs in parallel by default, so I can keep using the previous versions and don’t have to make a switch for older projects.
I tried the new version with a bunch of new projects, and this worked fine. On a side note: it is still compatible with Processor Expert projects which is great!
The release notes of the update shows that it includes mainly support for new devices and bug fixes. The compiler/build tools are the same as in 10.2.0 too:
arm-none-eabi-gcc (GNU Tools for Arm Embedded Processors 9-2019-q4-major) 9.2.1 20191025 (release) [ARM/arm-9-branch revision 277599]
The dark theme support received several visual updates, improving the readability of several plugins.
Update: for the Dark theme, make sure you set your host (Windows) to ‘Dark’ too:
That way Eclipse follows the theme for things like scrollbars too.
What are new and updated are the P&E and SEGGER debug libraries, featuring the latest versions. As a new feature there is the ability to auto-debug multicore slave projects for LinkServer connections. This feature can be disabled in the preferences:
All in all: the new version comes with a series of smaller updates. I do not see a critical need for an update, but it shows a continuous improvement. For users of the ‘dark theme’, the upgrade is for sure very welcome. Very welcome is that the P&E and SEGGER debug probe support has been updated. Talking about debug probe support: the IDE supports a new MCU-Link debug probe for LPC, Kinetis and i.MX RT. More on this later when I find out more …
UPDATE: There is now information about the McuLink available on https://www.nxp.com/design/development-boards/lpcxpresso-boards/jtag-swd-debug-probe:MCU-LINK
Happy Xpressing 🙂
- Previous MCUXpresso IDE 11.2.0: https://mcuoneclipse.com/2020/07/26/mcuxpresso-ide-v11-2-0/
- Community page: https://community.nxp.com/t5/MCUXpresso-IDE-Knowledge-Base/MCUXpresso-IDE-v11-2-1-Now-Available/ta-p/1165373
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It is curious that as of version 11.2.1, the JLINK interfaces that are not original are disabled and can no longer be used for Debugging. This happens even if you do not confirm the option to update the firmware, which it tells you when you start the program and which already appeared in previous versions of MCUXpresso.
I understand that SEGGER pursues pirated products in its own way, but that NXP does it in its tools in relation to a product from a private company, does not seem right to me.
I’m of course not using any pirated SEGGER products, so I cannot tell what happens if one uses them. I don’t think that NXP does or have any detection of such things, because they use the same DLLs and binaries as SEGGER provides on their web page for download. Basically the MCUXpresso IDE comes with the DLLs of the latest SEGGER files around the release date. I do frequently update to the latest version from the SEGGER page too.
On a side note: with the (original!) J-LINK EDU Mini available for only $20 from Mouser/etc, I don’t see any reason why someone would use a pirate product at all? Of just use the new MCU-Link which is $10 only: https://mcuoneclipse.com/2020/11/29/new-mcu-link-debug-probe-from-nxp/
I have a JLINK EDU, a PE Micro, both original, and I have ordered a MCU LINK.
EDU’s problem is that it doesn’t support SEGGER’s Jflash utility, otherwise fine.
What has long been missed is that NXP offered a self-made programmer at an affordable price, as Microchip does with the Pickit or STM with the STLINK V2. If the MCU LINK is finally that type of programmer, it will be the one I will use and no other.
I like to use original products, but that have a reasonable price and with the necessary options to work, Debug, programming from the IDE, programming with a utility independent of the IDE.
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For example, I have programs created and compiled with the Teensy environment under Arduino, those binaries then I can’t program them using the Jlink EDU because it doesn’t support Jflash, and from MCUXpresso I suppose that if the application is not developed with the sources in that environment either you can program the binary.
Sometimes I use the Teensy environment to develop and test products, but in the final version I create my own PCB with the microcontroller and to program it I need a programmer that supports the Kinetis and has some utility to program them as Jflash with the Jlink (not with the EDU version, but with a much more expensive one).
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>>I need a programmer that supports the Kinetis and has some utility to program them as Jflash with the Jlink
Check out https://mcuoneclipse.com/2020/12/05/standalone-and-command-line-programmer-with-mcuxpresso/ :
This approach works with the J-Link EDU too, so you can use any ELF/Dwarf, hex or bin file with it and you don’t need the IDE or the J-Flash.
It uses the JLink executable with a script file so no JFlash license needed.
I hope this helps,
>>EDU’s problem is that it doesn’t support SEGGER’s Jflash utility, otherwise fine.
To my understanding the EDU’s do not automatically include the JFlash license, but it can be added with the purchase of a JFlash license from SEGGER. I’m not 100% sure because the SEGGER webpage is not very clear about it, but when I try to program a target with JFlash and the EDU it tells me that I can purchase a license. The other J-Link Plus I have has the license included.
>>What has long been missed is that NXP offered a self-made programmer at an affordable price.
Yes, NXP is behind STM and Microchip here, and I think they will catch up with the MCU-Link (but will take time for sure).
Actually there has been a self-made programmer with the OpenSDA, and we did a circuit for our boards (see https://mcuoneclipse.com/2015/05/17/tinyk20-open-source-arm-debuguniversal-board-first-prototypes/). The issue there was that despite ‘open’ in the name it was not open with the bootloader/firmware: you needed several $k for Keil tools to build a bootloader, so this what stopped us doing this and just using what is on the FRDM boards.
>>programming with a utility independent of the IDE.
Check out https://mcuoneclipse.com/2020/12/05/standalone-and-command-line-programmer-with-mcuxpresso/ which I just published yesterday.
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Hello, and thank you for the very useful blog and the effort you’re putting in it.
I’ve got a newbie question, can I use MCUXpresso for other non NXP cortex-m0 uC? For instance I’ve got a Holtek HT32F52253 but they suggest to use ARM DS-5 that is another adapted Eclipse.
Also, is the CMSIS a way to have the right libraries for different MCUs on a single IDE like it could be MCUXpresso?
Technically you could, but the NXP MCUXpresso IDE only allow you to use it for or with NXP silicon: this is something which as far as I see every silicon vendor puts into the rules for their (especially free) tools.
But I’m sure you you talk with you NXP contact and if you are an important customer, they will make an exception (I have seen this for other vendors too).
I have mixed feelings for ARM DS-5: I would instead rather use the stock Eclipse with the GNU MCU plugins: that way you have full freedom, no strings attached and it is free, plus you can use it for pretty much very CPU out there including RISC-V (something you usually cannot do if you are using the CMSIS/ARM stuff).
As for CMSIS: there are many different parts of CMSIS, with CMSIS-Core the most useful one, followed by CMSIS-DSP: ARM is trying to catch up with the whole CMSIS with the Intel software development world, with imho mixed results. So CMSIS alone won’t help you really. As for general microcontroller development, imho you go best with the SDK and offerings the Si vendor is providing to you, because with this you get the most support. So for MCUXpresso and NXP this is the MCUXpresso IDE and SDK. The other approach (and this is actually what larger companies/users do) is to use for example Eclipse or Visual Studio and develop their own packages of SDK/Middleware/Utilities they use inside there company. Something similar what we have at the university with the McuLib: a library/SDK which can be used as you need it.
I hope this helps?
Thank you very much Erich, this is really useful.
I am the author of the guide ‘How to install MCUXpresso 11 on Debian 10’, but soon after I’ve published it, NXP have updated the IDE installer and it can be done with a simple command.
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