Getting Started with the USB-KW38

Plug It In!

Let's take your USB-KW38 for a test drive!

Get Started with USB-KW38 - How To

1.1 Attach the USB-KW38 to the PC

1.2 Start the board and run the Out-of-Box Demo

Your USB-KW38 Power green LED should stay ON when you connect the board.

Get Software

In this step, we are going to guide you through the process to get the required software to enable the USB-KW38 dongle as a Bluetooth Low Energy sniffer. You can also use the USB-KW38 as a development platform. Select the option you want to accomplish with your USB-KW38.

Choose a Development Path:

Installing software for the USB-KW38

2.1 Download MCUXpresso SDK with Connectivity Software

MCUXpresso SDK for the USB-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 USB-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 USB-KW38 using the SDK builder.

2.2 Install Wireshark for Bluetooth Low Energy

Wireshark is an Open-source network protocol analyzer. It can show you what is being sent over the air, and is a very useful tool for debugging communication between devices.

2.3 Install Kinetis Protocol Analyzer Adapter

The Kinetis Protocol Analyzer Adapter is a software program that provides a bridge between the USB-KW38 board and Wireshark. It needs to be installed so that the USB-KW38 will appear to Wireshark as a network interface that can be sniffed. Click the button below to download and install this software on your computer.

2.5 Programming USB-KW38 as Sniffer

USB-KW38 comes pre-programmed with sniffer firmware by default. However, if you erased the pre-programmed software in the USB-KW38, you can follow the steps provided in the guide below to reprogram the USB-KW38 with the sniffer application again.

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.

Select the Connectivity Stack that you want to explore.

Build and Run Connectivity Demos on the USB-KW38

3.1 Explore the Connectivity Example Code

Generic FSK

The KW38 Wireless Connectivity Software package comes with a long list of demo applications for the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol. To see what's available, browse to the 'examples' folder ( \boards\usbkw38_kw38\wireless_examples\genfsk ).

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.


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. The cloner tool is included in your software package download. It can be found in \tools\wireless\ProjectCloner.

4.1 Clone an example project from MCUXpresso SDK

Option A: Use the MCUXpresso IDE to clone an example project as shown in step 3.

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.


Explore beyond the USB-KW38 by integrating other NXP solutions and software to your project and interact with our worldwide design community

5.1 KW37/38/39 Bluetooth Low Energy 5 Wireless MCU

The KW37/38/39 is an ultra low power, highly integrated single-chip device that enables Bluetooth low energy (LE) ver. 5.0 and Generic FSK (at 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 kbps) RF connectivity for automotive embedded systems. Find out more at KW37/38/39 product page .

5.2 CAN Transceiver and Controllers

The TJA1057 is part of the Mantis family of high-speed CAN transceivers. It provides an interface between a Controller Area Network (CAN) protocol controller and the physical two-wire CAN bus. Learn more at TJA1057 product page.

5.3 LIN Tranceiver

The TJA1027 is the interface between the Local Interconnect Network (LIN) master/slave protocol controller and the physical bus in a LIN network. Learn more at TJA1027 product page

5.4 Kinetis and Wireless Connectivity Communities

Connect with other engineers and get expert advice on designing with Kinetis MCUs and Wireless Connectivity software. Join the community discussion in one of our two dedicated communities: Kinetis MCU Community or Wireless Connectivity Community