NXP Freedom Development Board: FRDM-K64F

Edit: Updated title to reflect Freescale merger with NXP

Presented by NXP as:

“FRDM-K64F: Freescale Freedom Development Platform for Kinetis K64, K63, and K24 MCUs”

This board is part of the latest group of low-cost development platforms by Freescale NXP. Aimed at hobbyist and professionals, this boards serve as entry point for the K64, K63 and K24 Micro-controllers, introduced based on ARM Cortex-M4 for IoT applications.

For this new year I was looking forward to buy and test a new development board. I have always worked with Freescale boards and MCUs (the old HC08), but always with their own CPU architecture, so I decided to give ARM architecture a try this time. I only wanted a board simple enough to try the ARM assembler instructions, so I wanted something as cheap as possible, not too expensive or powerful. On the other side, my personal electronic interest have always been home applications and connected objects, so after reading a little I decided that the Kinetis Family was worth a try. So, I went straight to my favourite distributor and got this:

FRDM-K64F Package. Nice touch.
FRDM-K64F Package. Minimalist design, nice touch.
FRDM-K64F Content
FRDM-K64F Package Content

I like the simplicity of the board package. Cheap, elegant and functional.

Inside we find our shiny new board, nothing else. To start working with it you will need to buy an extra USB A-to-MicroB cable. The board comes preloaded with a demo code which makes the RGB leds blink and changes colors constantly. This will be the case only if you buy the K64F model, other models come preloaded with demo applications adapted to its own characteristics.


The specifications of the board can be found in detail on the Freescale site. However, I will list here the ones that caught my attention:

  • Form-factor compatible with the Arduino R3 pin layout. This means arduino shields are compatible with this board.
  • OpenSDAv2, the Freescale open source hardware embedded serial and debug adapter running an open source bootloader. It is important to notice that the board comes with the mbed bootloader, we will talk more about this later, but for now it is important to note that to use the OpenSDAv2 capabilities, it needs to be download separately and flashed in the device.
  • Peripherals enable rapid prototyping, including a 6-axis digital accelerometer and magnetometer to create full eCompass capabilities, a tri-colored LED and 2 user push-buttons for direct interaction, a microSD card slot, and connectivity using onboard Ethernet port and headers for use with Bluetooth® and 2.4 GHz radio add-on modules.
  • Software support and application development is offered through the Kinetis software development kit (SDK), an extensive suite of robust peripheral drivers, stacks and middleware.

Finally, for the MCU itself:

  • MK64FN1M0VLL12 MCU (120 MHz, 1 MB flash memory, 256 KB RAM, low-power, crystal-less USB, and 100 Low profile Quad Flat Package (LQFP)).

This is only one of many develoment boards which were launched as ultra-low-cost development platforms for Kinetis MCUS. All of the flavours for the Freedom series can be found here.


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