Comments after a week of using Config Tools compared to Processor Expert

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Comments after a week of using Config Tools compared to Processor Expert

1,275 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

I started to work with Motorola's DSP at the MC56F83xxx output time, then I went to the MC56F84xxx (Freescale) and now I'm going to switch to the MKV58Fxxxx (NXP).

I went from Codewarrior 8.x to Codewarrior 10.x. Now I was undecided whether to start with KDS or to jump directly to MCUXpresso. In the end I decided to go with MCUXpresso IDE because it is newer and I'm not going to start all over again in a few years.

To initialize the peripherals and the CPU I used QuickStart (for those who do not know it, is this: DSC Quick Start Initialization and Development Tool|NXP ), very fast and light in the code, but sometimes cumbersome to use!

I then went to Processor Expert to initialize the peripherals, the clock in the cpu and integration with FreeMaster (great product). I rarely used Integrated Processor Expert drivers because they are inefficient: I prefer to rewrite drivers to my pleasure. Instead it is very useful to initialize the peripherals by avoiding configuration errors.

After this brief introduction, we come to my experience of using MCUXpresso Config Tools.....

After a few hours of use, I felt like I was back 10 years and use QuickStart (see links below). Light in code but difficult to use.

Obviously I have created an SDK 2.2 with the dedicated website (Welcome to MCUXpresso | MCUXpresso Config Tools ), and installed in MCUXpresso. Then I downloaded and installed the desktop version of Config Tools 3.0.2 (MCUXpresso Config Tools|NXP ). At this point I started using Config Tools Desktop to create my project, following all the documentation and videos that are on the NXP site.

List of defects Config Tools Vs. Processor Expert:

  1. Config Tools is not integrated with MCUXpresso, any changes made with Config Tools must make copy / paste of the modified files to update the project in MCUXpresso. Instead Processor Expert is integrated.
  2. I found a method to integrate the files created with Config Tools into the MCUXpresso project and make sure they are updated every time, but it's a tricky procedure. I do not know if there is any smarter method.
  3. Lack of peripheral initialization. For now only the CLOCK and PINS (PORT registers) are initialized. I understand that there are plans to add "Peripheral Configuration" feature, but it's been several months since the release of these tools and for now there is nothing.
  4. When you need to recall some function to the driver, you need to remember the name, or run in the sources to find it, or keep open the documentation file of the SDK (MCUXpresso SDK API Reference Manual: Introduction ). Even with QuickStart it was necessary to always have the documentation handy to recall the various integrated functions: frustrating!! With Processor Expert instead, it is enough to drag and drop the function taken from the component window.
  5. There is no way to print the package with the pin arrangement on paper, or print the clock configuration, or the pins configuration.

List of advantages Config Tools Vs. Processor Expert

  1. Lightness in the generated code.
  2. Better control of the code without the risk that the tool will change the cards on the table without my consent. With Processor Expert there is a risk that there may be a change in the generated code without any control at each compilation.

Conclusions

I would also be willing to change the configuration application again and switch to MCUXpresso Config Tools, but I think these two points are essential:

  • Config Tools must be integrated into MCUXpresso IDE as it was Processor Expert. There must be the ability to modify clocks, pins, peripherals, and click on a button to generate code. But then this code must be immediately available in MCUXpresso IDE without any further steps.
  • There must be the tool to configure the peripherals, otherwise it's a half-way job that nobody likes.

I'm waiting for your answer to clarify any of my Config Tools evaluation errors.

Labels (1)
10 Replies

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

By researching this forum, I have noticed that many other users have requested configuration of peripherals in MCUXpresso Config Tools, even some have asked this question in March 2017. The answer was that probably there would be something in Summer 2017. In fact, summer 2017 has passed, but peripheral configuration is still to be done without an appropriate tool (how could it be Processor Expert).

Now you tell me that Config Tools for peripherals could be ready by the end of the year (.... I hope it is the end of 2017, and not 2018 or 2019 :smileywink:).

I also feel that many users (and customers) are frustrated by this constant change in programming tools: why throw Processor Expert into junk if it was a valid and appreciated solution from many?

Ten years ago (or maybe more) I experienced this same situation: there was Processor Expert but Motorola (formerly Freescale and now NXP) suggested using QuickStart (see my initial post). It seemed that the Processor Expert death was near, to be replaced by QuickStart.

Instead, after a few years, Processor Expert was regularly updated (until now), but QuickStart is definitely dead and abandoned. All those who like me had believed in QuickStart have been frigged and found themselves with a tool that is not up to date and unusable with new MCUs and IDEs.

Will the same thing happen now too?

539 Views
ddanaj
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Hello Andrea,

regarding point 5 in "List of defects Config Tools Vs. Processor Expert:"

5. There is no way to print the package with the pin arrangement on paper, or print the clock configuration, or the pins configuration.

You can use export HTML report option to be able to print clock configuration or pins configuration. 

It is available in File -> Export... -> Pins Tool/Clocks Tool -> Export HTML Report

Regards

David

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

Hi David,

Yes, I had seen this export opportunity: it is very useful and clear.

Instead I was referring to the ability to graphically print the PACKAGE with all the pins around it (what is seen in the "Pin Tool" package view), and the same thing for the Clock Tool.

However this is not a big problem. It's fine the Export function that is already present.

Regards

Andrea

0 Kudos

539 Views
marek-trmac
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

Hi Andrea,

thank you for valuable feedback. Both features are planned till the end of the year: Config Tools will be integrated into MCUXpresso IDE and there will be (limited) version of Peripherals tool available.

Regards

Marek

Regards,
Marek
0 Kudos

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

Hi Marek,

Can you tell me which Peripherals will be configured with Config Tools in the next release?

It would be interesting if you could see the connection between the various Peripherals using the functionality of the XBARs and AOIs. Sometimes it becomes complicated to follow the hardware connection of various signals, eg between timer blocks (TMRs) or synchronisms to PWM blocks. What do you think about it?

Regards

Andrea

0 Kudos

539 Views
CJarvis
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

The Peripheral Tool is finally coming.  It will be released as part of the MCUXpresso Config Tools v4, which is planned for release on Nov 18, 2017.
It will support the following peripherals:

  • GPIO
  • UART
  • ADC
  • LPTMR
  • I2C
  • FTM

These are not necessarily the most difficult peripherals to setup, but they are ones that are widely used on a lot of different projects.  We will be extended the supported peripherals in future releases.

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

Sounds good.

I await impatiently the day of publication of the new release.

we update here with new comments.

Regards

Andrea.

0 Kudos

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

Good. Even if the word "limited" worries me a little.

Do you have any suggestions to make sure that when I do some modification with Config Tools it is done directly in the open project with MCUXpresso?

0 Kudos

539 Views
marek-trmac
NXP Employee
NXP Employee

The tool never updates source files on the disk automatically. You can:

- either export the files - hit export button on the Sources tab or using `main menu - File - Export ...`

- or copy&paste code from Sources tab into your project. This can be useful if you have modified code in your project and you need to update only some parts.

Regards,Marek

Regards,
Marek
0 Kudos

539 Views
andreacanepa
Contributor IV

Yes, I knew that. I was hoping there was a more practical way. Something similar to what Processor Expert does, you mean?

So I continue to use my method: it's a bit intricate to create the initial project, but then it's a good thing that when Config Tools modifies the sources, they are modified directly into the MCUXpresso IDE project without using EXPORT or Copy / Paste .

Regards

Andrea

0 Kudos