Getting Started with the FRDM-KW38

Plug It In

Let's take your FRDM-KW38 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-KW38 Development Platform - How To

1.1 Attach the USB Cable

1.2 Run the Out-of-Box Demo

Your FRDM-KW38 comes loaded with a demo that flashes the multi-colored LEDs when you connect the board.

FRDM-KW36 Board

If you are interested in running the pre-programmed Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon application that comes with your board Click here.

Get Software

Installing software for the FRDM-KW38

2.1 Download MCUXpresso SDK with Connectivity Software

MCUXpresso SDK for the FRDM-KW38 includes all the wireless connectivity stacks required to develop your solution using Generic FSK, and Bluetooth Low Energy.

Click below to download a pre-configured SDK release for the FRDM-KW38 that includes all the wireless connectivity stacks for the KW38.

You can also use the online SDK Builder to create a custom SDK package for the FRDM-KW38 using the SDK builder.

2.2 Install Your Toolchain

NXP offers a complimentary toolchain called MCUXpresso IDE.

Want to use a different toolchain?

No problem! MCUXpresso SDK connectivity stack software also supports IAR.

2.3 MCUXpresso Config Tools

The MCUXpresso Config Tool is an integrated suite of configuration tools that guides users in creating new MCUXpresso SDK projects and also provides pin and clock tools to generate initialization C code for custom board support.

To learn more about the basic interactions between the tools while working with either an imported MCUXpresso SDK example project or creating a new project within the IDE, watch this three-part video series.

Basic Application Development Using MCUXpresso IDE and MCUXpresso Config Tools

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-KW38'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:

Tera Term Tutorial PuTTY Tutorial

Build, Run

The FRDM-KW38 Wireless Connectivity software comes with a list of demo applications and driver examples ready to be compiled and run for each connectivity stack.

Select the Connectivity Stack that you want to explore.

Build and Run Connectivity Demos on the FRDM-KW38

3.1 Explore the Connectivity Example Code

Generic FSK

The KW38 Wireless Connectivity Software package comes with the Connectivity Test demo application for Generic FSK protocol. To see what's available, browse to the 'examples' folder ( \boards\frdmkw38\wireless_examples\genfsk ).

If you are interested in running the pre-programmed Bluetooth Low Energy Beacon application that comes with your board Click here.

3.2 Build, Run and Debug Wireless Connectivity Examples

You probably want to build and debug a demo by yourself. Use the guide below to learn how to build and debug an example application from the Wireless Connectivity Stacks in the MCUXpresso IDE or IAR Embedded Workbench IDE.

Create an Application for the FRDM-KW38

4.1 Clone an example project from MCUXpresso SDK

Option A: Use the MCUXpresso IDE to clone an example project.

Option B: Use the MCUXpresso Config Tool to clone an existing MCUXpresso SDK example for use with third party IDEs.

4.2 Use the Pins Tool

Now, let’s use the Pins tool that is part of the MCUXpresso Config Tool to show how to add a new GPIO pin to your project to blink an LED.

4.3 Use the Clocks Tool

Next use the Clocks tool that is part of the MCUXpresso Config Tool to change the clock settings and change the rate that the LED blinks.

4.4 Success!

With the application modified, you will see the FRDM-KW38’s blue LED slowly blinking. You can also view terminal output using the terminal program.