FreeMASTER 3.1 - Release Announcement

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FreeMASTER 3.1 - Release Announcement

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FreeMASTER 3.1 - Release Announcement

Version 3.1 of the NXP FreeMASTER tool has just been published online. 

The installer is available along with documentation and other resources at http://www.nxp.com/freemaster. There is also a video presentation of new features available in the desktop version. Another video shows the new FreeMASTER Lite and Node-RED integration.

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 BLs as well as with DSC and legacy Power Architecture, ColdFire and HCS12/Z platforms.

FreeMASTER 3.1 release extends the version 3.0 by adding the new features. Older 2.x and 3.0 installations may co-exist on the host system with the 3.1 version which should enable smooth transition of projects, dashboards and other work items from the older versions to the new one. 

Version 3.1 is backward compatible. 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.

Block diagrams


The following pictures shows high-level view of the FreeMASTER desktop application and FreeMASTER Lite interfaces, their connections to the target microcontroller applications as well as to 3rd party applications.

311158-CS_FreeMasterLaunch_BD_FreeMASTER_title.jpg

 

311158-CS_FreeMasterLaunch_BD_FreeMASTER_Lite_title.jpg

 

What's new in version 3.1


Version 3.1 extends the last update of version 3.0 with all its minor updates and bug fixes. Refer to earlier announcements for versions 3.0.3, 3.0.1 and the 3.0.0

Features introduced in version 3.1:

  • Node-RED framework support
    Node-RED is a popular framework that enables visual programming of event driven applications. FreeMASTER 3.1 brings a palette of Node-RED "nodes" that act as a visual wrappers around JSON-RPC calls. Now you can leverage the full potential of both FreeMASTER & Node-RED to design your application or even visual dashboards with minimal or no coding at all. The FreeMASTER Lite server now embeds the full Node-RED runtime, so no other installation is required. At the same time, the installer comes with stand-alone packages that can be added and used with a local Node-RED instance.
    This video training provides more details on FreeMASTER and Node-RED integration 

  • FreeMASTER NodeJS modules
    The installation now contains two new NodeJS "npm" installable modules.
      • FreeMASTER JSON-RPC Client as a general package for JSON-RPC interfacing which works both on the backend (NodeJS) and frontend (web browser).
      • FreeMASTER Node-RED module as set of installable Node-RED nodes and example flows. Keep both packages together in the same folder when installing it for dependency resolving.

  • Updated communication plug-ins to support protocol V4
    The communication protocol version 4 has been first introduced in 2019 with FreeMASTER 2.5. Today, it is the primary protocol used by microcontroller applications based on NXP MCUXpresso SDK, automotive SDKs and other general applications targeting NXP i.MX-RT, LPC, Kinetis, S32K, S12Z and Power Architecture platforms. FreeMASTER 3.1 adds support of this protocol to the FreeMASTER Remote Communication Server, so it is again possible to access your microcontroller applications remotely over a network and even to share the same board connection with more FreeMASTER desktop applications. Protocol V4 is also now supported by the JTAG/EOnCE Real Time Data transmission interface available on DSC 56F800E/EX platforms.

  • Virtual Variables
    New support of "Virtual" variables, which do not have an address assigned and can be created without any real counterpart in the MCU application. Virtual variables may still be accessed by scripts and may be added to Variable Watch and Oscilloscope views. This may be useful for script-defined global parameters and other purposes.

  • Global Enumeration types
    Enumeration types are now managed globally. Multiple variables now share the string enumerations defined in a global repository (see menu Project/Enumerations...). The enumerations are loaded automatically from the MCU application's TSA tables. The 'enum' type parsing from ELF file to be supported in future.

  • Recorder and Oscilloscope Properties dialogs extended
    • New icons indicating variables' "trigger mode" displayed in Recorder variable list.
    • Fixed drag&drop behavior in the variable list.
    • Possibility to add multiple variables at once by pressing the "..." button.
    • The Drop-down list with variable selection is now able to filter the content by a typed text.

  • Working with context menu
    Project tree context menu has been extended by options to expand or collapse child nodes. Tree state is serialized to project (PMPX format only). Context menu commands were also added to easily duplicate existing Recorder and Oscilloscope items or to clone them from Oscilloscope to Recorder type and vice versa.

  • New CAN interfaces supported
    The wide family of supported USB-to-CAN and other CAN interfaces (IXXAT, Vector, Kvaser, National Instruments, Peak Systems, Intrepid, ZLG, Glinker) has been extended by Viewtool Ginkgo devices. 

 

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, 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.

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 #:
9 of 9
Last update:
‎11-16-2020 04:35 AM
Updated by: