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Which websites/blogs/tools/books/manuals would you recommend for getting into the Freescale microcontrollers, especially the 32-bit models?

What are the best development tools (IDEs, compilers) for this environment. There is so much out there for the AVRs, ARMs, PICs but not too much for Freescale. I admit, I need to spend more time with Google on this and just thought I'd save myself plenty of time by asking the "experts".

Thanks

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The Freescale devices aren't very popular, hence there isn't much support for them, and the tools are expensive. If you want to get into 32-bit MCUs you would be better off with ARM. The new NXP Cortex-M0 chips are very cheap, and you have lots of choice with the development tools, some of which are free. I've been playing with the new NXP LPCXpresso board - £18 each (!), with a nice (free) development environment.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Whoa, NXP already have a Cortex-M0 uC?! I couldn't seem to find it on NXP's website. Can you tell me what the Part # is for that CortexM0 uC that you are using? I am only familiar w/ their ARM7 and CortexM3 processor. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Terry Chen Feb 26 '10 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The LPC1111, etc. The LPC1111 is used on the LPCXpresso. \$\endgroup\$ – Leon Heller Feb 27 '10 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Leon, Thanks! I see it now. Apparently, it is brand new series of part just recently released last Quarter (there is a lot of embedded processor recently...). This new processor looks good! $2 single quantity @ 50Mh, wow. Gotta get my hands on some now XD. \$\endgroup\$ – Terry Chen Feb 28 '10 at 21:20
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A while ago I did a large project with Coldfire chips (64 uCs per system, lots of RS232 lines ;)

I used EMACS, a Makefile and gcc. It ran on Linux and Windows. I am not sure how actively Coldfire gcc is developed. At the time the Coldfire chips were a very good value. Haven't looked at them in a while.

IIRC there was a commercial compiler with an IDE available for Windows. It was around $2K. Since some development was on Linux and some on Windows we ended up using gcc.

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Joe Grand has used the Freescale 32-bit MCU chips for a couple of his DefCon badges. His articles on developing the badges in Nuts & Volts are a good intro to what the chips can do. He also did a presentation at DefCon about the badge.

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Last fall Freescale came out with a great beginner's eval board - the Freescale FRDM KL25Z. It is about $13 US and there is an excellent tutorial based website for it at mcuoneclipse.com.

You can't go wrong giving the FRDM board and website a try.

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