I really love tiny and bread board friendly boards, especially if they are very affordable and can be use with Eclipse based tools. So I was excited to see the NXP LPC845-BRK board to be available at Mouser, so I ended up ordering multiple boards right away. Why multiple? Because they only cost CHF 5.95 (around $6)!
NXP LPC845-BRK Board
The boards arrived yesterday, so it is a perfect timing to have them (and more of it) integrated into the next semester university course material. So you will probably see a few more tutorials for this board.
The kit comes in a solid card box with:
the LPC845-BRK board
two 10pin headers
Micro USB cable
a smalls screwdriver
two 2pin jumpers and headers
getting started reference card
The board works out of the box and does not need any soldering, and the headers are provided in case I want to customize the board. I like the fact that the headers are supplied, plus I’m free what I want to solder to the board. Plus I can use different headers if I want to. I was puzzled by the screwdriver (what for?) until I realized that there is small potentiometer on the board :-).
The main MCU on the board is the LPC845 in QFN48 package ( LPC845M301JBD4), an ARM Cortex-M0+, 30 MHz, 64 KB FLASH and 16 KB SRAM):
The board has a ‘break-apart’ touch area: if I don’t need it, I can make the board smaller. it includes a potentiometer, an RGB LED, three push buttons (Reset, user and ISP). Plus most important: the LPC11U35 acting as a debug probe:
I can use the LPC845 with an external debug probe: for this I have to solder a jumper plus the 2×5 header. All the three buttons can be used as user buttons, so technically there are three of them. There is as well a jumper for an ammeter to measure the current used.
Software and Tools
There is no dedicated MCUXpresso SDK for that board (yet?), so I have downloaded the one for the device from http://mcuxpresso.nxp.com/:
On the LPC845-BRK web site there is a zip file with examples which I have imported into the MCUXpresso IDE:
When plugged in, the board enumerates with a virtual COM port which is a gateway to the LPC845 UART:
I was able to debug the board out of the box, the board is recognized as CMSIS-DAP debug probe:
And voilà: I’m debugging it
I really like that board. It is of good quality with a lot of value. It has a on-board debugger and even the possibility to use it directly with a J-Link or P&E Multilink if I wish so. The board is small, can be hooked on a bread board and can be made even smaller with removing the touch pad. The Cortex-M0+ is not the fastest and biggest MCU on the planet, but provides enough processing power for many smaller applications. I plan to follow-up with more tutorials in the next days and weeks. Until then, see the tutorials listed in the Links section below.