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MCUXpresso IDE: Installing Processor Expert Into Eclipse Neon

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MCUXpresso IDE: Installing Processor Expert Into Eclipse Neon

Processor Expert is a tremendously useful tool for graphical configuration, but Eclipse Neon takes a couple of plugins and extra steps to get it working.

· IoT Zone ·
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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 can be added or modified, and new Processor Expert projects can't be created. To fully use Processor Expert, two plugins need to be installed, and this is what this article is about.

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

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

Outline

Processor Expert is a great tool: It supports component-based software development and has a graphical user interface to add and configure settings and to generate code on the fly. However, NXP is not continuing its development and Processor Expert's functionality was replaced by the new MCUXpresso tools. Pins and Clocks are available, but that ‘Peripheral’ tool is not yet, which would help me with configuring microcontrollers 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, though 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 here 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

PEx_for_Kinetis_3.0.0_Install_into_Eclipse_4.4_Unzip_me.zip


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.zip first! That plugin is needed for Processor Expert, as it allows us 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 and drop the file into the dialog, then install it:

Installing FSL Eclipse Updater

Installing FSL Eclipse Updater

After restarting Eclipse, install PEx_for Kinetis 3.0.0.zip 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 (the file PEx_for_Kinetis_3.0.2.zip we 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 the MCUXpresso IDE!

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 to use SDK v2.x projects with MCUXpresso.

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 the MCUXpresso IDE.

If the Processor Expert views are not shown, use the menu below 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 available:

Processor Expert in MCUXpresso IDE

Processor Expert in the MCUXpresso IDE

Summary

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 to 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 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!

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Topics:
mcuxpresso ,processor expert ,iot ,eclipse neon ,tutorial

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