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What are the current support and development plans for Kinetis RTOSes and IDEs?

Question asked by dmitriyc on Apr 27, 2016
Latest reply on Apr 28, 2016 by Carlos_Musich



There have been a lot of recent changes in terms of IDEs and RTOSes for Kinetis. The information is out there, but it's not trivial to sift through all of it and figure out which information is up-to date.


Someone who is an NXP employee with knowledge on the subject, please give an overall description of the current plans for the Kinetis development ecosystem and answer the questions included below.


I mean this to be a FAQ post because I think many other people have some of the same questions. One person doesn't need to know everything, but let's try to eventually collate all the answers into one post. If this post gets a good set of answers, it can be edited to add questions. If there is already an up-to-date document or post that performs this function, please point me in the right direction.



1. What will be the IDE of choice for new Kinetis development?

2. What will be the RTOS of choice for new Kinetis development?

3. Of the middleware available in MQX 4.2 (RTCS, USB, MFS, etc.), what already has functional equivalents in the new development environment? (I assume it's KDS and KSDK 2 with FreeRTOS).

4. What are the major licensing differences between MQX CW and the new environment? Include some info about the middleware in the answer.

5. Is CodeWarrior still the long-term IDE solution for other microcontrollers? Will there be new non-Kinetis MCU products released that require CodeWarrior?


MQX Support

6. Will there be bugfix releases for MQX 4.2 for CodeWarrior 10.6?

7. Will there be bugfix releases for MQX 4.2 for KDS? If so, which version of KSDK?

8. What will be the driving factor for MQX bugfix releases? How often are they expected to happen?

9. When you say bugfix releases, does this include only the kernel or the middleware as well?

10. If I find a bug in MQX 4.2, how likely am I go get any NXP development attention for it? Does this depend on whether I have a support subscription for CW? To what extent?

11. If I buy a CW support subscription now, what value do I get out of it in terms of Kinetis development?


New Environment

11. Will there be devkit BSPs and example projects with all middleware included for the FreeRTOS system? For example, in the old ecosystem I could buy a Tower kit that has demo code exercising MFS, HTTP, and USB with a full reference BSP out-of-the-box.

12. How does BSP generation work in the KSDK2/FreeRTOS environment?

13. Will the FreeRTOS included in KSDK2 have any NXP-only patches? That is, will the kernel be any different from what I can get at

14. Will any of the middleware in KDSK2 be patched by NXP?

15. If I want to modify the OpenRTOS kernel included with KSDK2 without releasing the source, what are my options? Do you (the Kinetis group) have some relationship with the OpenRTOS people or offer a similar licensing scheme?


I plan to use this information to help decide if and when to port the firmware for a new product currently in development. I have some room to maneuver now, but such changes will get much harder after product release. Longevity is important for this product. The 10-year longevity policy for the hardware is great, but having an RTOS and development environment that doesn't show signs of bitrot a few years after product release is also desirable.