FRDM-KL43Z: Hello World

The FRDM-KL43Z is one of the most well known development boards around the western hemisphere. It is relatively cheap, and at one point is was being given away by freescale on their conferences. Here you can find the first steps to follow to get your board running in no time!

When I first got my hand on this board in 2015, there were two IDE available: CodeWarrior and Kinetis Design Studio. The former needed a license and enabled development with most (at that time) Freescale board, the latter was free and based on Eclipse and only allowed development for the Kinetis family of MCU. Today, NXP discontinued KDE and MCUXpresso is now available for free and based on Eclipse itself.

You can of course develop in any platform of your preference, but we will be using MCUXpresso since it includes everything we need and it is really easy to get your hands on. So let’s get started!

IMPORTANT: For this tutorial we assume your FRDM-KL43Z board uses the PE Micro OpenSDA firmware for programming and debugging. If this is not the case, or you don’t know which version your board has installed, make sure you visit our post on how to update your board’s firmware.


How to Set-up the Development Environment

1.Install MCUXpresso IDE (“The IDE” from now on). The assistant will ask you to choose the installation directory. Note it, we will be refering to this directory as “<install_dir>” during the rest of this tutorial.

Main Screen – MCUXpresso

2. Plug the FRDM-KL43Z to any USB port. Use the device manager to check if the OpenSDA drivers were installed correctly. Otherwise, download and install from the OpenSDA site.

Window’s Device Manager

Note: When entering the OpenSDA site, they make reference to all their debugging tools; but do not worry, the programming and debugging circuit is included in the development board.

3. Download the latest Kinetis SDK from the NXP site. You have to select to board model (FRDM-KL43Z) from the list and click on Build SDK. The assistant will ask if you want to add additional components to your personalized SDK; we will ignore these options for the moment and just hit Download. Save the generated ZIP file to “<install_dir>/sdk/”.

MCUXpress Website – SDK Build Screen

4. To install the SDK you will need to go back the IDE and drag and drop the downloaded ZIP file into the Installed SDK window.

Installed SDK View

If this window is not visible, you will need to go to Window->Show View->Other and search for the Installed SDK view using the search bar; then proceed to drop the zip into the screen that will appear.

Use this option to open any View that you cannot find on your screen
Search for “Installed SDK”

How to Create and Run Your First Application for FRDM-KL43Z

5. Now we will need to import the sample project that comes with the SDK. To do this we can use the “Import SDK example(s)…” option available on the IDE. (See step 4 if you cannot find the view).

Quickstart Panel View – Gives the basic project options
Import SDK Assistant – Follow instructions to import the sample project
Import SDK Assistan – Select “led_blink” from the list

6. Once created the project, use Project->Build All (Ctrl+B) to build the project.

To run, click on Run->Debug As and choose “PE Micro Probe”. A window will ask you con confirm configuration if it is the first time running the project. Accept and once the programming step is over hit F8 to launch the program.

Don’t forget to check our Hello World on the FRDM-K64F board.


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