mbed Blog

Freescale's FRDM mbed enabled platform family just keeps growing! Welcome to the Family, FRDM-KL05Z!

More mbed support is added to the Freedom microcontroller platform line! This time it's the FRDM-KL05Z. This is ultra-low-cost development platform is enabled by the Kinetis L Series KL0x MCU family built on the ARM® Cortex™-M0+ processor. This new platform provides easier migration for 8-bit developers moving into the Kinetis portfolio.

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Features of the FRDM-KL05Z include easy access to MCU I/O, battery-ready, low-power operation, a standard-based form factor with expansion board options and a built-in debug interface for flash programming and run-control. This platform allows development of devices start from 8 KB of flash in a small-footprint 4 x 4 mm 24 QFN package extending up to 32 KB in a 48 LQFP package.

Last month the FRDM-KL46Z became another Freedom platform enabled in the mbed ecosystem. It's also based on the ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, but is from the Kinetis KL4x MCU family. The Kinetis KL4x family is compatible with the Kinetis K40 based on ARM Cortex-M4 processor which creates a bridge to higher performance and feature integration. This platform is well suited to develop devices with display-based applications like electronic scales, thermostats, flow meters and smart meters.

Click here to see all mbed enabled FRDM boards.

Nordic Semiconductor's Bluetooth Smart SoC running mbed! Pre-order your kit!

Nordic Semiconductor have just announced their new mbed-enabled nRF51822-mKIT development kit:


This kit is based on the Nordic nRF51822 that combines a Bluetooth v4.1-compliant radio and an ARM® Cortex®-M0 processor along with SPI, I2C, ADC, PWM and GPIO on a single chip. And the chip is only about $2 in volume!

Add to the mix that we now successfully have mbed running on it, including the Bluetooth Smart APIs we've been adding to the mbed SDK, and you now have a really productive way to create a Bluetooth Smart based device that can be manufactured incredibly cheaply!

If you haven't yet come across Bluetooth Smart, it is quickly becoming a key communication component for IoT devices as it is already supported in modern smartphones and tablets, and is designed for enabling short-range wireless connectivity to things like coin cell-powered accessories. This opens the door to things like Appcessories, but also a whole host of applications for interacting and configuring devices, where instead of a clunky and expensive embedded UI, you can embed a Bluetooth Smart chip, bring your own device (BYOD) and have a much cheaper and better user experience.

You can read Nordic's full press release here:

If you are interested in creating Bluetooth Smart applications, you can take a look at it in more details and pre-order the kit here:

Hands-on: ST Nucleo board with a shield

The mbed platform support has been expanded recently to include a new family of boards - the ST Nucleo. Four boards are supported at the time of this writing and ST's plans are to release a full line of STM32 Microcontrollers in the Nucleo family, all of which will have out-of-the-box support for the mbed ecosystem. In this blog post I'll show you how easy it is to use the a ST Nucleo board on mbed.

First, this is how the board packaging looks (click to enlarge):

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When connected for first time, the green LED blinks with a familiar rate, hinting that the preloaded program is in fact the mbed Blinky Hello World program. The USB storage device of the Nucleo contains an mbed.htm file, which, when clicked, takes me to the mbed website and gets the board added to my account.

Like the whole Nucleo family, the ST Nucleo L152RE has 2 type of headers - Arduino and Morpho. The Arduino header standard is popular for the compatibility and ease of use it offers. In this example I'm using the Arduino shield 16x2 LCD by Freetronics.

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This LCD already has a page in mbed Components, which provides an example program and library contributed by Koen Kempeneers.

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Clicking on “Import program” takes me to the mbed Online Compiler to import the program into my workspace.


I'm opening main.cpp and the first thing I notice is that the initialization string for the LCD library is using Arduino pin names, meaning that I won't have to change them - everything is pre-set for me.

freetronicsLCDShield lcdshield(D8, D9, D4, D5, D6, D7, D3, A0);

Тhe second thing I notice is that the program is more than a Hello World program. It's a full-featured demo of the shield and library, which is somewhat too complex for my example.

I'm replacing the code with the simplified:


#include "mbed.h"
#include "freetronicsLCDShield.h"

freetronicsLCDShield lcdshield(D8, D9, D4, D5, D6, D7, D3, A0);

int main() {
    lcdshield.printf("mbed application");

And then hit "Compile" which successfully compiles my code and prompts me for a save location.

But before saving the compiled binary I'd like to attach the LCD shield. Note that some shields, like this LCD screen, use less pins than the full Arduino headers, so remember to be extra careful when attaching them. If you get it wrong you might damage the board and/or the shield.

Now that I have the LCD shield correctly mounted, I reconnect the board to the PC. The backlight turns on and the first row of the display filled with squares indicating that it's powered properly.

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I then save the binary to the Nucleo’s USB storage device, which “consumes” the binary and restarts the board. A moment later the following text appears on the LCD screen:

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Ah, sweet success!

More Hardware! STMicroelectronics launches mbed-enabled family with NUCLEO


Just today STMicroelectronics (STMicro) announced their new line of STM32 mbed-enabled development boards, the STM32 Nucleo!

This will be a full line covering the STM32 Microcontrollers, and of course the really great thing is ST developers will now have access to mbed’s ecosystem of software, tools, and community!

The Nucleo boards will allow developers to re-use hardware and software IP for multiple projects and create scalability for their STM32 designs, as they are all going to be the same form factor and software platform. This will also offer a wide variety of shields supporting functions such as Bluetooth® LE or Wi-Fi connectivity, GPS, audio recording utilizing STMicro’s MEMS microphone capability, proximity sensing, and wireless control.

This is a great line, and we are looking forward to seeing the wider range of prototypes and innovations that come from the addition of the STM32 Nucleo family.

And if you are wondering, the first four boards will be released at Embedded World next week at $10.32 per unit!

Feel free to ask ST questions on the ST team page.

mbed at FOSDEM 2014

In less than three weeks, on the 18th of February, it will be the first "open source birthday" of the mbed SDK.

In preparation to the celebration, we will present mbed at FOSDEM 2014.


If you are planning to attend the event, you can find us at this stand: AW 4 mbed


We officially announced the open sourcing of the mbed SDK in February 2013:

During this year the mbed SDK project has already started getting momentum:

Exciting new developments are ahead of us for the next year!