There have been a lot of new Freescale releases recently around FTF, and I’m trying to catch up. For me as a Processor Expert lover, it is good news that the new version 10.4 is now available. And it comes in different ways:
- Standalone as Driver Suite 10.4 (e.g to be used with IAR or Keil).
- As plugin for existing Eclipse installations (e.g. Kepler)
- Integrated into CodeWarrior for MCU10.6 (which just has been recently released too)
- and in Kinetis Design Studio which just has been announced at FTF.
The biggest visual change is the new Component Inspector:
Processor Expert in the Kinetis Design Studio includes as well the Kinetis SDK Processor Expert components, which are not present in the ‘plain’ 10.4 release. Freescale is now gathering requests for the Kinetis Design Studio beta phase, and while it was made available to attendees at the Freescale Technology Forum in Dallas this week, it probably will take a few days until it will be available for the ones registered for the beta.
So what’s new? Beside of the mentioned SDK components and added new derivative support, there are two major things:
- Updated CDE (Component Development Environment) to create my own components.
- New Component Inspector View (more about this below)
- Bug fixes, e.g. the EnterCritical() thing I discussed here.
I have not used much the previous CDE in Eclipse. I still used the ‘standalone’ version which was available in CodeWarrior for MCU10.2, as for me it was easier to use. I attended the CDE class at FTF, and now I see that it has made big improvement steps, so definitely I will have a look at it.
The other visible change is the new component inspector. The view has changed to a more graphical view with tabs. For example my LED component now looks like this:
The rather hidden thing is that I can switch back to the original ‘table’ view: Clicking on the small triangle in the view gives a check item where I can enable/disable the new ‘Tabs’ view:
Then the inspector view looks again like this:
The advantage of the new view is that things are automatically grouped into tabs, and I can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through the view. Freescale mentioned at FTF that the new view will make it easier to render things in a CSS/Web based view too.
The view has a ‘Basic’ and ‘Advanced’ mode. The nice thing is that the new view offers filtering: Especially in ‘big’ components like the CPU component now I get much faster to the settings I need:
To save screen real-estate, the left hand navigation view can be collapsed:
What I really love is to ‘browse’ to the inherited component settings:
Unfortunately, there is no ‘browse back’ button (or I missed how to do this).
Improved Ease-of-Use for Processor Expert in GNU ARM Eclipse plugins
The other good news is: Processor Expert V10.4 now works seamlessly with the Liviu GNU ARM Eclipse plugins just released (see http://gnuarmeclipse.livius.net/blog/2014/04/11/version-2-2-1-201404120702-released/), see as well this post.
It has an option to directly create Processor Expert projects for the GNU ARM tools:
With Processor Expert V10.4 installed, it will automatically call the Processor Expert wizard:
Then I can select device options/etc in the Processor Expert wizard, so my project is correctly created with all the settings in a single wizard (although there are two wizards working in the background). Very nice!
I still need to explore things more, but 10.4 makes sense for me to switch to the new version. I already upgraded Eclipse Kepler with it, and using it with the KDS. The new inspector view looks nice, and maybe I need more time to get more familiar with it. I feel the ‘old’ view is more ‘dense’ especially for laptop views, so I need to scroll less. The good thing is that I can switch the views.