Efficient debug and trace capabilities are integral to efficient code development and test. For developing with LPC MCUs, NXP offer users a range of choices for debug and trace features from ARM, NXP, and ecosystem partners. ARM MCUs provide a JTAG and/or Serial Wire Debug (SWD) interface, with numerous on-core capabilities to help developers efficiently test and validate applications. Many ARM Cortex-M3 and M4 processors also include powerful trace capabilities, and most Cortex-M0+ devices include instruction trace. Debug probes give the host computer running the development tools access to these features, and implement hardware solutions to provide capabilities such as unlimited flash breakpoints, flash programming, multi-core debug, semi-hosting (standard I/O functionality via debug channel), and more.

Debug probes in the LPCXpresso platform

All LPCXpresso target boards include an integrated JTAG/SWD debug probe (referred to as LPC-Link/Link2), eliminating the need for a separate probe when using the LPCXPresso IDE. Newer LPCXpresso boards, with the Link2 debug probe, can be programmed to support the ARM CMSIS-DAP debug protocol, enabling their use with a range of partner development tool suites. In addition, using LPCXpresso board schematics, you can implement your own target board designs that can utilize these probes.

LPC-Link/Link2 debug probes can be connected to an external target and used as standalone debug probe to develop for a wide variety of NXP's Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3, and Cortex-M4 based applications. This is achieved in different way depending on the board generation:

  • On LPCXpresso version 1 boards, the traces between the LPC-Link processor and the target can be cut, separating the target board and Link board portions. Boards configured in this way can also support ARM7/9-based boards.
  • On LPCXpresso with a Link2 debug probe, a simple jumper setting enables this functionality without cutting the board.
  • The LPC-Link2 board (NXP part number OM13054) implements a Link2 debug probe using an LPC4370. This board can be used to evaluate the LPC4370 but also as a general purpose debug probe.

Partner Debug Probes

A range of debug and trace probes with target flash programming capabilities are also available from ecosystem partners, allowing developers to fully exploit these capabilities in their IDE of choice. In addition, debug probe products from NXP partners offer a wide range of host interface options including from USB, Ethernet and WiFi.

NXP works closely with these debug probe experts to enable developers to fully utilize the benefits their probes and related tools can deliver. To get to know NXP's partners and how to find the latest information on their offerings based on LPC microcontrollers please review their introductory messages below. Refer to the Partner Cross Reference for LPC MCUs for specific devices supported by each partner.