Mbed vs Kinetis Design Studio

After a couple of months busy with other projects; today I finally was able to take my K64f and play with it a little more. The first thing you have to deal with the moment you start using a new board is the development environment, which can change a lot from manufacturer to manufacturer. Particularly, for the FRDM boards we have two different options for programming our board (with the corresponding two different Bootloaders) and with them two different IDEs.

This subject is too complex to deal with it in a single day test, this is why I decided to use both services for a while and revisit this post from time to time in order to give you my impressions; but for now I will give you some pros and cons I have found to the moment.


The Mbed project was started by ARM as a solution for the development of the IoT movement.It is composed by an Operating System (in alpha state) a IDE (with compiler but no debugger) and what they call a Device Server which I haven’t had time yet to read about.
Bootloader: Mbed.
– Extremely simple to use.
– IDE Online with control version includes. Let you keep your code on the web, ready to keep working whenever you want.
– Drag and Drop Programming. As I said before, the Mbed does not give you the option to run and debug your code directly on the device; however, it compiles your code and give you a binary ready to be dropped on the device flash memory to program it, just like an external memory.
– No debug capabilities.

Kinetis Design Studio

Kinetis Design Studio (KDS) is an IDE designed by freescale to offer their clients a free environment where to develop their projects for the FRDM boards without the need to buy the Codewarrior IDE.
Bootloader: JLink OpenSDA.
– Debugging capabilities
– Considerably harder SDK


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