Comparing CodeWarrior with Kinetis Design Studio

At FTF 2014, Freescale made the announcement that CodeWarrior won’t support all the new ARM Kinetis devices coming out in the future: they will be supported with the free-of-charge Kinetis Design Studio (KDS) instead. As for myself, this is a big shift from a well established CodeWarrior toolchain to something new. A question which came up recently several times in the forums and in other posts is: how do CodeWarrior and KDS compare with each other?

CW vs KDS

CW vs KDS

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Review: ThunderBench with the Freescale FRDM Board and Processor Expert

For the Eclipse and Processor Expert lovers of this world: there is another Eclipse based IDE you can use: ThunderBench made by Emprog:

ThunderBench for ARM Eclipse Startup Screen

ThunderBench for ARM Eclipse Startup Screen

They support a range of ARM based devices, including the Freescale ones I’m using. So I downloaded the v3.24 30 day trial from their download page last week. Finally I have found some time to try it out. Could this be an alternative to use my Freescale FRDM boards with Processor Expert?

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Using the FRDM-KL25Z with CMSIS-DAP to program non-Freescale ARM Microcontrollers

Freescale might not have thought about this: how to use Freescale boards and silicon to develop for non-Freescale silicon? 😉

I tinkered around using the FRDM (e.g. FRDM-KL25Z) board as a general purpose programming or debugging device. See the links to the posts at the end of this article. I have used it to program and debug other Freescale ARM processors. It requires board changes and the usage of a different OpenSDA firmware which has its own limitations (no USB CDC serial bridge). But for about $15-20 I have a device to program my own external boards :-).

If you are using Keil tools, then the good news is: With CMSIS-DAP you can debug any other (even non-Freescale) ARM device as long it is supported by the IDE :mgreen:

FRDM-KL25Z debugging the nRF51422-DK (Source: Keith Wakeham)

FRDM-KL25Z debugging the nRF51422-DK (Source: Keith Wakeham)

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Bricking and Recovering FRDM-KL25Z Boards: Reset, SWD Clock and Low Power

I’m working with a student on building a small autonomous robot platform, based on the FRDM-KL25Z board. We integrated new software modules, compiled and linked, and then downloaded the application to the board. While debugging and stepping through the application startup, I had this:

The Debugger has lost communication on connection

The Debugger has lost communication on connection

Outsch! That’s not good. Even worse, trying to connect again to the board failed :-(. What happened?

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CMSIS-DAP with IAR and the KL25Z Freedom Board

Beside of USBDM, there is another Open Source implementation of a debug interface for the Freedom Board OpenSDA: CMSIS-DAP.

CMSIS-DAP stands for ‘Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard – Debug Access Port’) has been published by ARM Inc. With this, there is an open source alternative to proprietary implementation (e.g. P&E OpenSDA or Segger OpenSDA).
Beside of the ARM MDK IDE, CMSIS-DAP is supported by Coocox and IAR. And IAR is what I’m using in this post.

 

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USBDM 4.10.5 supports now MCU10.4

Wow, that was fast! The SourceForge USBDM project has added support for MCU10.4 (see as well this post) in release 4.10.5 available here, announced in the Freescale Forum.

USBDM 4.10.5 Installer

USBDM 4.10.5 Installer

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Debugging FRDM-KL05Z with USBDM

I mentioned in “Debug External Processors with USBDM and Freedom Board” post that I had a problem to debug the FRDM-KL05Z with USBDM. Well, after a long night with some sleep, with more thinking and searching, finally I have it resolved: I can debug my FRDM-KL05Z with USBDM 🙂

FRDM-KL05Z Debugging with USBDM

FRDM-KL05Z Debugging with USBDM

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Debug External Processors with USBDM and Freedom Board

Teaching at a university means to work in a very special environment. What students love is ‘Open Source’: because it allows them to ‘see’ things and learn from the technology. The other thing is: students have a low budgets, so they appreciate if they can use inexpensive or low-cost hardware and software. The FRDM-KL25Z Freedom board for sure meets that low price, and no extra programming device needed.

Now they are building their own boards, and they wish to program and debug it. They can borrow the Segger J-Links and P&E Multilinks we have available at the university. But why not use the Freedom board as ‘hobby’ debug and programming solution? As explored in “Using the Freedom Board as SWD Programmer“, they can use the default factory installed OpenSDA to program another microcontroller of same type. But not to debug it.

While writing the “Using the Freedom Board as SWD Programmer” article, I was looking into USBDM. USBDM has added in January 2013 support for OpenSDA. But at that time, it was somehow not working for me, and I had not enough time to find out what the problem was. Time to get that fixed. Good news: With help and tips from the USBDM community, I have it finally working 🙂

USBDM Debugging another FRDM-KL25Z

USBDM Debugging another FRDM-KL25Z

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