Get Started with the KITPF8121FRDMEVM

This page will help guide you through the process of learning about your KITPF8121FRDMEVM board.

The NXP analog product development boards provide an easy-to-use platform for evaluating NXP products. The boards support a range of analog, mixed-signal and power solutions. They incorporate monolithic integrated circuits and system-in-package devices that use proven high-volume technology. NXP products offer longer battery life, a smaller form factor, reduced component counts, lower cost and improved performance in powering state-of-the-art systems.

This page will guide you through learning about how to set up the KITPF8121FRDMEVM board.

1.1 Kit contents/packing list

Working with the KITPF8121FRDMEVM requires the kit contents, additional hardware and a Windows PC workstation with installed software.

1.2 Kit contents

  • Assembled and tested KITPF8121FRDMEVM and preprogrammed FRDM-KL25Z microcontroller board in an anti-static bag
  • 3.0ft. USB-STD A to USB-B-mini cable
  • Quick Start Guide

1.3 Additional hardware

In addition to the kit contents, the following hardware is necessary or beneficial when working with this kit.

  • Power supply with a range of 3.0 V to 5.0 V and a current limit set initially to 1.0 A

    (maximum current consumption can be up to 7.0 A)

1.4 Windows PC workstation

This evaluation board requires a Windows PC workstation. Meeting these minimum specifications should produce great results when working with this evaluation board.

  • USB-enabled computer with Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10

1.5 Software

Installing software is necessary to work with this evaluation board. Software package NXP_FlexGUI_PF8x_Rev_0.7.x or higher contains:

  • KL25Z firmware files
  • NXP PF8x FlexGUI

1.6 User manual

Refer to UM11214: KITPF8121FRDMEVMEvaluation Board - User Guide for full evaluation board functionality.

The KITPF8121FRDMEVM provides an easy-to-use platform for evaluating NXP products. The boards support a range of analog, mixed-signal and power solutions. They incorporate monolithic integrated circuits and system-in-package devices that use proven high-volume technology. NXP products offer longer battery life, a smaller form factor, reduced component counts, lower cost and improved performance in powering state-of-the-art systems.

This customer evaluation board features the PF8121 power management IC. The kits integrate all hardware needed to fully evaluate the PMIC. It integrates a communication bridge based on the FRDM-KL25Z freedom board to interface with the FlexGUI software interface to fully configure and control the PF8121 PMIC.

2.1 Board features

KITPF8121FRDMEVM evaluation board features:

  • Buck regulators
    • SW1, SW2, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6: 0.4 V to 1.8 V; 2500 mA; 2 % accuracy and dynamic voltage scaling and single, dual, triple or quad-phase configuration
    • SW7; 1.0 V to 4.1 V; 2500 mA; 2 % accuracy
    • Configurable VTT termination mode on SW6
    • Programmable current limit
    • Spread-spectrum and manual tuning of switching frequency
  • LDO regulators
    • 4x LDO regulator 1.5 V to 5.0 V, 400 mA: 3 % accuracy with optional load switch mode
    • Selectable hardware/software control on LDO2
  • RTC supply VSNVS 1.8 V/3.0 V/3.3 V, 10 mA
    • Battery backed memory including coin cell charger with programmable charge current and voltage
  • System features
    • 2.5 to 5.5 V operating input voltage range
    • USB to I2C communication via the FRDM-KL25Z interface
    • Selectable hardwire default PMIC configuration or OTP/TBB operation
    • Fast mode I2C communication at 400 kHz (high speed operation supported by PMIC)
    • Advance system monitoring/diagnostic via PMIC and/or system AMUX
    • Master/slave interface connector
    • Onboard I/O regulator with 1.8 V/3.3 V selectable output voltage
  • Attached FRDM_KL25Z
    • Pre-programmed FRDM-KL25Z as a communication link between the EVB and a PC
    • The Freedom KL25Z is an ultra-low-cost development platform for Kinetis® L Series KL1x (KL14/15) and KL2x (KL24/25) MCUs built on Arm® Cortex®-M0+ processor.
    • Features include easy access to MCU I/O, battery-ready, low-power operation, a standards-based form factor with expansion board options and a built-in debug interface for flash programming and run-control.

2.2 Board description

The KITPF8121FRDMEVM is a hardware evaluation board that allows the full evaluation of the PF8121. The PF8121 family of devices feature power management integrated circuit (PMIC) designed for high performance i.MX 8 and S32V based applications. It features seven high efficiency buck converters and four linear regulators for powering the processor, memory and miscellaneous peripherals.

Built in one-time programmable memory stores key startup configurations, drastically reducing external components typically used to set output voltage and sequence of external regulators. Regulator parameters are adjustable through high-speed I2C after start up offering flexibility for different system states.

PF8121 is the consumer version of the higher end device, it features seven switching regulators and four LDOs, providing same power management and digital control with standard consumer qualification rating to address a cost effective platform for consumer applications.

Device Description Features
PF8121 12-Channel Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) for high-performance processing applications
  • Up to seven high-efficiency buck converters
  • Four linear regulators with load switch options
  • RTC supply and coin cell charger
  • Watchdog timer/monitor
  • Monitoring circuit to fit ASIL B safety level
  • One-time programmable (OTP) device configuration
  • 3.4 MHz I2C communication interface
  • 56-pin 8 x 8 QFN package
  • Basic version of this product, with power management and digital control without the functional safety features for systems not requiring ASIL-B compliance

2.3 Board Image

The KITPF8121FRDMEVM consists of a multiple boards with FRDM-LKL25 as shown in the final assembly below.

Section CH/section 3.2 – Fig 1

2.4 Additional board support

Board overview/components, jumper configurations, test points, connectors and additional board descriptions / images are available in the User Guide. Refer to UM11214: KITPF8121FRDMEVM Evaluation Board - User Guide.

3.1 Configure the hardware

This section summarizes the overall setup. Detail description is provided in the user guide.

Suggested equipment’s needed for test:

  • 3.0 V to 5.0 V power supply (using banana jacks)
  • Computer
  • Mini USB type A Cable

3.2 Configuration image

Section CH/section 3.2 – Fig 1

3.3 Device Considerations

It is recommended to learn about the device and its specifications prior to operating the boards. The device has a high level of flexibility due to parameter configuration available in the OTP. This impacts the functionality of the device. It is key to understand how the parameters are programmed on the device.

Note: The board is populated with an

3.4 Setting up the board

To configure the hardware and workstation as illustrated.

  1. With the USB cable connected to the PC and the USB port in the freedom board, apply VIN to the evaluation board.
    • Provide external VIN between 2.5 to 5.5 V on J10 (VIN) and J4 (GND) or
    • Short jumper J17 to provide 3V3 Vin from Freedom board (use this mode of operation for functional demonstration only, no regulation loading allowed in this mode).

    Do not apply power to J10 while J17 is shorted. This could damage the onboard regulator on the FRDM-KL25Z Freedom board.

  2. Press Reset on the Freedom board, to ensure board is properly recognized.
  3. Browse to the NXP_FlexGUI/bin/ folder and double-click on the flexgui-app-8xxx.jar executable to start the application.
  4. The FlexGUI launcher is displayed with a list of possible configurations to load the FlexGUI. Select the appropriate option for device and silicon revision to be used. If the device revision populated on the evaluation board is not available in the list, please contact your NXP representative to obtain the latest software update suitable for your device.
  5. 3.5 Additional board support

    Detailed configuration, Flex GUI options are detailed in the User Guide. Refer UM11214: KITPF8121FRDMEVM Evaluation Board - User Guide

4.1 Preparing graphical user interface operating environment

Download and run SW for the KITPF8121FRDMEVM. These evaluation boards use FlexGUI software for PF8121 device. Prior to the installation of the FlexGUI software and performing device firmware updates (if needed), download and unzip the file to any desired location.

4.2 Installing the Java JRE

  1. Download Java JRE (Java SE Runtime Environment) available at (8u162 or newer).
  2. Open the installer and follow the installation instructions.
  3. Following the successful installation, restart the computer.

4.3 Installing FlexGUI software package

The FlexGUI software installation requires only extracting the zip file in a desired location.

  1. If necessary, install the Java JRE and Windows 7 FlexGUI driver.
  2. Download the latest FlexGUI (32-bit or 64-bit) version,, available at
  3. Extract all the files to a desired location on your PC. FlexGUI is started by running the batch file, NXP_FlexGUI_PF8x_Rev_0.7.x\NXP FlexGUI\bin\flexgui-app-pf8xxxx.bat.

The FlexGUI Rev 0.7.0 or higher, interfaces with the FRDM-KL25Z freedom board via USB-HID protocol which should be recognized automatically by the Windows OS eliminating the need for any extra hardware drivers. Refer to UM11214 Section 5.4 "Updating the PF8121 FlexGUI firmware" for details on how to update the FRDM-KL25Z, in case the board is not loaded with the latest firmware with USB-HID support.

4.4 Updating the PF8121 FlexGUI firmware

The FRDM-KL25Z freedom board is used as a communication bridge to interface the FlexGUI with the PMIC and other I2C devices. The firmware is organized in three levels:

  1. At first level, the SDA uses the BOOTLOADER to operate as the main path to flash the functional code of the SDA processor. The BOOTLOADER is preprogrammed on the FRDM-KL25Z freedom boards and cannot be reflashed to avoid permanent damage to the Freedom board.
  2. At second level, the SDA provides a firmware loader for drag and drop update of the KL25Z MCU firmware.
  3. At the third level, the KL25Z MCU provides the FlexGUI firmware in charge of converting the USB communication into MCU instructions to control digital I/Os as well as I2C communication to the PMIC. If the FRDM-KL25Z is not loaded with the correct firmware to support a future software upgrade, the firmware can be updated in few simple steps.

4.5 Flashing the FRDM-KL25Z firmware loader

  1. Press the push button on the Freedom board and connect the USB cable into the SDA port on the Freedom board. A new BOOTLOADER device should appear on the left pane of the file explorer.
    Section CH/section 3.2 – Fig 1
  2. Drag and drop the file MSD-DEBUG-FRDM-KL25Z_Pemicro_v118.SDA into the BOOTLOADER drive. File should be located in the KL25Z firmware folder.
    Section CH/section 3.2 – Fig 1
  3. Disconnect and reconnect the USB cable into the SDA port (this time without pressing the push button). A new device called FRDM_KL25Z is installed on the PC.

4.6 Flashing the FlexGUI firmware

If a new software or silicon release requires a firmware update on the FRDM-KL25Z freedom board, use the following procedure to upgrade or downgrade the firmware of the freedom board as needed. Note that this procedure is needed only to update the firmware and may be skipped if no change is needed.

  1. Connect the USB cable in the SDA port (without holding the push button).
  2. Locate the ".bin" FlexGUI driver to be installed, for example flexgui-fw-kl25z-usb-hidpf8x00- v0.1.1.bin, drag and drop the file into the FRDM_KL25Z driver.
    Section CH/section 3.2 – Fig 1
  3. Freedom board firmware is successfully loaded.

4.7 User Guide

Complete step by step software instructions are detailed in the User Guide. Refer toUM11214: KITPF8121FRDMEVM Evaluation Board - User Guide

5.1 Success!

Now start embedded application development.

5.2 Product summary page

PF8121: 12-Channel Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) for high-performance processing applications

5.3 Tool summary page

The overview tab provides an overview of the device, product features, a description of the kit contents, a list of (and links to) supported devices, list of (and links to) any related products and a Get Started section.

  • Documentation: download current documentation
  • Software & Tools: download current hardware and software tools / Drivers
  • Buy/Parametrics: purchase the product and view the product parametrics
  • Build package: the bill of materials (BOM) and supporting schematics are also available for download in the Get Started section.

After downloading files, review each file, including the user guide which includes setup instructions.

5.4 For the entire solution

In addition to our PF8121: 12-Channel Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) for high-performance processing applications page you may also want to visit: