Get Started with the FRDM-KE15Z

Plug It In!

Let's take your FRDM-KE15Z for a test drive! You have the choice of watching the sequence in a short video or following the detailed actions list below.

Get Started with FRDM-KE15Z Development Platform - How to

1.1 Attach the USB Cable

1.2 Run the Out-of-Box Demo

This bubble demo leverages the on board accelerometer. When the board is flat, the RGB LED is turned off, and when the board is tilted, the blue or red LEDs gradually illuminate based on the degree of tilt on the X- and Y-axis.

Get Software

Installing software for the FRDM-KE15Z

2.1 Jump Start Your Design with the Kinetis SDK!

The Kinetis Software Development Kit (SDK) is complimentary and includes full source code under a permissive open-source license for all hardware abstraction and peripheral driver software.

Click below to download the KE15 SDK package.

2.2 Install Your Toolchain

NXP offers a complimentary toolchain called Kinetis Design Studio (KDS)

Want to use a different toolchain?

No problem! The Kinetis SDK includes support for other tools such as IAR (, Keil ( and command-line GCC (

2.3 Tool Update

If using Kinetis Design Studio or Arm GCC tool chains, the latest Segger J-Link software tools need to be downloaded and installed. This update is required for those tools to support the KE1x family. Ensure you install this update after installing the IDE of your choice.

First, download the latest "Software and documentation pack" from

Then Install the software and at the end of the installation, there will be a dialog box asking to update installed IDEs. Make sure the KDS 3.2.0 IDE is checked if using Kinetis Design Studio.

2.4 PC Configuration

Many of the example applications output data over the MCU UART so you'll want to make sure that the driver for the board's virtual COM port is installed. Before you run the driver installer, you MUST have the board plugged in to your PC.

With the serial port driver installed, run your favorite terminal application to view the serial output from the MCU's UART. Configure the terminal to 115200 baud rate, 8 data bits, no parity and 1 stop bit. To determine the port number of the FRDM-KE15Z's virtual COM port, open the device manager and look under the "Ports" group.

Not sure how to use a terminal application? Try one of these tutorials:

Build, Run

Each of the Our Wireless Connectivity Stack comes with a list of demo applications and driver examples ready to be compiled and run.

Build and Run SDK Demos on the FRDM-KE15Z

3.1 Explore the SDK Example Code

The Kinetis SDK comes with a long list of demo applications and driver examples. To see what's available, browse to the SDK boards folder of your SDK installation and select your board, the FRDM-KE15Z (/boards/frdm-ke15z).

To learn more about demo applications or driver examples, open the Kinetis SDK v.2.0 API Reference Manual, located in /docs.

3.2 Build, Run and Debug SDK Examples

If one or more of the demo applications or driver examples sounds interesting, you're probably wanting to know how you can build and debug yourself. The Getting Started with Kinetis SDK guide provides easy, step-by-step instructions on how to configure, build, and debug demos for all toolchains supported by the SDK.

Use the guide below to learn how to open, build and debug an example application using the Kinetis Design Studio (KDS) IDE.

Using a different toolchain?


NXP provides a project cloner tool which allows you to copy an existing demo to use as a base for your own development, keeping the original demo app resources for reference. Click on the link below to get the project generator tool.

Create an Application for the FRDM-KE15Z

4.1 Get SDK Project Generator

Let's create our own project and make a simple SDK-based application. NXP provides an intuitive, simple project generation utility that allows creation of custom projects based on the Kinetis SDK.

4.2 Run the SDK Project Generator

After extracting the ZIP file, open the utility by clicking on the KSDK_Project_Generator executable for your computer's operating system. Point the tool to your SDK installation path, name your project, and select the board that it uses as a reference. Click on the Quick Generate button to finish.

4.3 Open Your Project

Your new project will be located in /boards/frdmke15z/user_apps/myProject/kds. Open the project in your toolchain of choice by using the same process described in section 3.2.

4.4 Write Some Code

Now, let's make our new project do something other than spin in an infinite loop. The SDK examples provide a board support package (BSP) to do various things specific to the board, including macros and definitions for items such as LEDs, switches and peripheral instances. To keep things simple, lets make the LED blink using the BSP macros.

Update the main() function in your project's main.c file with the following code:

volatile int delay;

// Configure board specific pin muxing

// Configure clock source

// Initialize the UART terminal

PRINTF("\r\nRunning the myProject project.\n");

// Enable GPIO port for the red LED

for (;;)
delay = 5000000;

4.5 Build, Download, Run

With the changes made to your main() function, build your application. Once the build is complete, download the application to your board.

If you need help figuring out how to build, download or run an application, reference your tool-specific guide from section 3.2.

4.6 Success!

With the application downloaded, you will see the FRDM-KE15Z's red LED blinking. You can also view terminal output using PRINTF.