MCUXpresso IDE 11.4.0

University exam grading are all done now and results are in the system, and it is already time to prepare for the fall semester. I always try to use the latest and greatest tools in my courses, and the NXP MCUXpresso IDE 11.4.0 just came out. So time to have a look and explore the changes and features.

Debugging with NXP MCUXpresso IDE 11.4.0
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Standalone SWO

SWO (Single Wire Output) in ARM cores is probably one of the most under-used features. Which is surprising, because SWO can be very useful. In a nut shell: SWO is a single wire output pin/signal channel which can provide lots of different data, like PC sampling for coverage information, interrupt tracing data or ‘uart-like’ text packets.

SWO output from application
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Round MetaClockClock

It has been a while since my last MetaClockClock, and with the continued shortage of electronics on the market I had no chance to order new parts. But I still had some remaining parts, and with the modular design of the ’round’ clocks I was able to build up another one, but this time with even less than the usual minimum of 24 clocks:

So if you are up to build a MetaClockClock with less clocks, this might be the way for you.

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DIY Vinyl Cutting Drag Knife for Desktop CNC

A desktop CNC is a great addition to any 3D printer or laser cutter. I consider them ‘the trinity’ for any maker garage. While a desktop CNC is great for wood and some metals like aluminum or brass, it would be great to extend the infrastructure with something more: vinyl cutting. And with this the idea to have cool sticker on my laptop lid:

CNC cut-out design on laptop lid
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Position-Independent Code with GCC for ARM Cortex-M

Welcome to ‘Alice in Wonderland‘! For a university research project using an ARM Cortex-M33 we are evaluating position-independent code as way to load applications or part of it with a bootloader. It sounds simple: just add -fPIC to the compiler settings and you are done.

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. That option opened up a ‘rabbit hole’ with lots of wonderful, powerful and strange things. Something you might not have been aware of what could be possible with the tools you have at hand today. Leading to the central question: how is position-independent code going to work with an embedded application on an ARM Cortex-M?

Let’s find out! Let’s start a journey through the wonderland…

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Visual Studio Code for C/C++ with ARM Cortex-M: Part 7 – FreeRTOS

This is a new article in my series about using Microsoft Visual Studio Code: After installation, project setup, building, debugging, setting up a kit and IntelliSense. This one is about setting up and using FreeRTOS:

Microsoft Visual Studio Code with Debugging FreeRTOS application on ARM Cortex-M
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Placing Code in Sections with managed GNU Linker Scripts

Managed linker scripts are great on one side: the simplify the otherwise complex GNU linker script handling. On the other side it requires knowledge how to tweak them in case ‘non-standard’ behavior is needed.

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Visual Studio Code for C/C++ with ARM Cortex-M: Part 6 – IntelliSense

The previous parts were about installation, project setup, building, debugging and setting up a kit. This one is about setting up IntelliSense for Cross Development in Visual Studio Code which allows for browsing symbols or code completion:

Code Completion in Visual Studio
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SWO with ARM Cortex-M33

One major concern of embedded system development is performance. Microcontroller have more MHz than in the past, but embedded applications are all about timing and real-time aspects.

The challenge is: how to get data off the target in realtime? SWO can help with this….

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Full Bathroom Remodeling (with the Help of a 3D Printer)

This is about one of my ‘long running projects’: I happily can report that the missing last piece has been installed after 16 months from the start of the project: the ‘3D-Printed-Supported-Driftwood-Bath-Tub-Shower-Gel-Holder’ 🙂 :

This is the ‘official finish’ of a complete bathroom renovation and remodeling. It has been a joint project with the help of friends, contractors, my family and my brother in law (who is an outstanding carpenter and cabinetmaker), plus the Ultimaker2 3D printer which contributed many ‘background and hidden’ features.

I invite you to a virtual time travel. I hope you enjoy it and get inspired….

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