FreeMASTER 3.1.2 Update - Release Announcement

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FreeMASTER 3.1.2 Update - Release Announcement

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FreeMASTER 3.1.2 Update - Release Announcement

Version 3.1.2 of the NXP FreeMASTER tool has just been published online. 

This version is backward compatible and fully replaces older 3.1.0 and 3.1.1 releases. It brings new features and bugfixes described below.

The updated installer is available along with documentation and other resources at http://www.nxp.com/freemaster 

Release description


FreeMASTER is a powerful data visualization tool developed and provided by NXP to help users monitor and control embedded applications running on NXP’s targets. It works with almost all NXP Arm ® Cortex®-M microcontrollers from both Edge Processing and Automotive business lines as well as with DSC and legacy Power Architecture, ColdFire and HCS12/Z platforms.

Version 3.1.2 is a minor update of the 3.1.x mainline release. If there is any previous 3.1.x version already installed on the host computer, the FreeMASTER 3.1.2 overwrites the installation and it remains referred as a general mainline version 3.1. Older 2.x and 3.0 versions are not removed. 

Version 3.1.2 is backward compatible with all previous versions. It supports variable monitoring, oscilloscope real time graphs, fast transient recorder graphs and connectivity to 3rd party applications. An HTML rendering engine based on Chromium with full support of JSON-RPC, HTML5 and JavaScript is available to create custom dashboards and other user interfaces that can run inside FreeMASTER or standalone in local or remote web browser. Older Internet Explorer rendering, ActiveX interface and protocols defined for versions 2.x are also still supported.

FreeMASTER Lite service which is part of the FreeMASTER installation package provides the communication core for Windows and Linux systems. It is accessible similarly as the FreeMASTER desktop application over the JSON-RPC interface. FreeMASTER Lite also embeds the popular Node-RED framework for graphical programming and provides many examples of use with the FreeMASTER tool. Find more information related to Node-RED in the dedicated training video

Note: Installing FreeMASTER Lite will require you to enter an activation code. Get your free code on the License Keys tab at the license information page.

FreeMASTER Node.js Installable Modules enable convenient use of the FreeMASTER JSON-RPC components in a Node.js applications managed by the ‘npm’ package manager.

New Features


Version 3.1.2 introduces brand new features extending data visualization and communication options:

Array Viewers

New Array Viewers enable to display static arrays as graphs similarly to a Recorder feature.

The Array Viewers may be viewed as a simpler and lighter replacement for the Recorder. The Viewer can read one or more array from the target memory and display the values in a graph. Another scalar variable is used as a trigger, causing the graph to refresh any time it changes the value. FreeMASTER can optionally clear the trigger variable automatically after displaying the graph, providing an acknowledge to the target that it may prepare new data.

The primary benefit of the Array Viewer is that it only needs the Read Memory feature (and Write Memory only in case of the trigger acknowledge is used). This is the reason why it can operate over any communication interface, including the direct-access JTAG or BDM interfaces which do not use any communication protocol between Host PC and the target MCU.

Also in many situations, displaying the whole arrays of values present in the target memory is more natural than using the Recorder which is oriented more towards capturing scalar variables’ transitions in time.

Refer to User Guide for more information about setting up the Array Viewers in your FreeMASTER project.

TCP and UDP communication

New Network communication plug-in has been introduced to enable direct TCP or UDP communication with the target MCU over an Ethernet network. The plug-in is compatible with the FreeMASTER communication driver v3.0.4 available in MCUXpresso SDK v2.10 along with new 'fmstr_net' example application for i.MX-RT10xx and K64F platforms.

The network communication supports multiple client sessions (multiple FreeMASTER connections made to the same target board). The FreeMASTER "feature locking" has been extended and is now used consistently for all features. Recorders, Oscilloscopes, Pipes and other instances are now "locked" before use, so they are usable by a single FreeMASTER client at one time.

An automatic discovery option can be enabled in the FreeMASTER communication driver so the target boards attached to local network appear automatically in the list within the plug-in configuration dialog. This simplifies connection to targets with dynamic IP address assigned by DHCP or another autoconfiguration protocol.

The network plug-in is also supported by the FreeMASTER Lite.

Other changes


List of other minor changes in version 3.1.2

  • Number of communication retries made during initial board detection is now configurable in the Options dialog. Important change: Use of a long Break signal sent to RS232 serial line is now also optional and it is turned off by default. The Break signal should not be used with a virtual serial port emulated on the CMSIS-DAP device as it causes target board resets.
  • Enable enumeration (enum) types to be parsed from ELF file and put to global Enumerations list from where it can be bound to Variable objects.  
  • Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) updated to version 89.0.6+g6f30454+chromium-89.0.4389.72. This should fix a image tooltip appearance issue on Windows 10 and some other minor issues. The tooltip issue may remain present on Windows 7 and older systems.
  • BDM/JTAG plug-ins extended to support new version of iSystem.connect interface which is used by iSystem winIDEA 9.21 and later.

Bugfixes and other extensions:

  • Fixed project import of variables with global enumeration type assigned. The enumerations were not imported properly which could even lead to crash during import.
  • Fixed import of virtual variables and import of Variables' comment and description fields. Also virtual variables are not exported to FreeMASTER Lite configuration files. 
  • Fixed ELF/DWARF parser problem of estimating array element size when element type information is missing.
  • Fixed CAN plug-in bug of RX buffer flushing in PEAK-Systems driver. The Peak communication could get corrupted after a single bus error.
  • Fixed Oscilloscope and Recorder behavior when an invalid variable was in inserted into the list. Invalid variable was causing other variables to receive wrong values.
  • Fixed excessive message boxes when opening projects with many resource files missing. Now all files can be extracted or redirected into a temporary directory after single message prompt.
  • Fixed problem of initial page display after loading project with CEF activated when any dialog or message box appears during the loading phase (e.g. Resource redirect prompt).

 

Release target audience


Both FreeMASTER and FreeMASTER Lite are primarily targeted to our customers, engineers and developers of NXP embedded applications from Industrial, IoT and Automotive areas who want to monitor and control their applications at runtime. FreeMASTER is also a strong framework which can be used to create interactive demos and user interfaces helping to use the embedded applications by yet wider target audience.

Prerequisites


FreeMASTER tools run on the host computer and communicate with the target microcontroller application using Serial, CAN, Ethernet/WiFi network, JTAG, BDM or other physical interface. The microcontroller communication drivers are available as part of MCUXpresso SDK, S32 Design Studio or as a standalone installation package. Get familiar with the communication protocol and the microcontroller driver API before using the FreeMASTER tool.

License terms and conditions permit use of FreeMASTER solely with systems based on NXP microprocessor or microcontroller systems.

Packages


A single self-extracting installation package which contains both FreeMASTER desktop application and the new FreeMASTER Lite service is available for Windows platforms. A package with the FreeMASTER Lite service is also available for Linux.
Access the installation and documentation at the FreeMASTER home page at https://www.nxp.com/freemaster.

 

Version history
Revision #:
4 of 4
Last update:
‎06-17-2021 02:00 AM
Updated by: